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PCB unfazed by CT boycott threats

The Pakistan Cricket Board made it clear that the biennial event will not be affected even if the best of players opt out.

cricket Updated: Jul 27, 2008 17:43 IST

With cricketers threatening to boycott the Champions trophy in Pakistan, the Cricket Board on Sunday made it clear that the biennial event will not be affected even if the best of players opt out.

"No matter what happens even, if the world's best players don't come, the tournament will not be affected," PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf said.

"In the past, we had examples when many top quality cricketers did not participate in the tournament with their own consent... And we cannot force anybody to come but we shall welcome everybody," he said during a visit to the Pakistan training camp in Kakul.

He said the issue of imposing penalties on teams which back out of the event rested solely with the International Cricket Council and was not the jurisdiction of the Board.

"We would say it is the duty of the ICC to ensure participation of all teams in the tournament. We can only ensure the best possible arrangements for the event," he said.

Ashraf also lashed out at the countries and players who are making negative statements about playing in Pakistan and the about the security scenario here.

"I don't think any country can guarantee absolute conditions but we have been making the best possible foolproof arrangements in Pakistan and our efforts in the recent Asia Cup were also appreciated by the ICC security consultants," he said.

"We have started work in coordination with the ICC and foreign security consultants to ensure a high level of security for the participating teams, media and other stakeholders in the tournament," Ashraf said.

"There are few countries who just sit outside and give statements with no basis they should come and visit Pakistan before making such statements," Ashraf added.

He also dismissed reports that South Africa was one of the countries strongly opposed to having the tournament in Pakistan .

"No this is false. At the recent teleconference, South Africa said Pakistan is a safe place to play cricket and it was their suggestion to make a task force and send it to Pakistan to coordinate and ensure arrangements for players and to secure rights of stake holders."

He also pointed out that in recent years the world's top umpires had visited Pakistan and faced no problems.

"The world's top umpires were at the Asia Cup and when the ICC asked them about their views on having the tournament in Pakistan they said Pakistan is a safe and cricket loving country," Ashraf said.