ICC Champions Trophy 2008 in Pakistan News

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ICC Champions Trophy 2009

ICC Champions Trophy 2009

The 2009 ICC Champions Trophy, originally scheduled to be held in Pakistan in 2008, was moved to South Africa by the ICC. The eight-team tournament is scheduled to take place from 24 September to 5 October at the Wanderers and Centurion stadiums.Get the latest news on ICC Champions Trophy 2009 →

ICC Champions Trophy 2008 Latest News

ICC confirms South Africa to host Champions Trophy cricket event

The International Cricket Council confirmed Monday that South Africa will host this year's Champions Trophy a competition that was moved from Pakistan because of security concerns and then pulled from Sri Lanka after worries of rain.
ICC president David Morgan called it a "sensible decision" after months of uncertainty over the venue for the Sept. 24-Oct. 5 tournament. "We now have clarity on the subject and we can make firm plans," Morgan said after the ICC board voted unanimously to back an executive committee recommendation last week to move the eight-team competition to South Africa.
The board - holding discussions in a global teleconference - also identified the Wanderers in Johannesburg and Centurion near Pretoria as the likely venues, Morgan said. Original host Pakistan was stripped of the tournament last year because of security concerns. The decision to move the venue to Sri Lanka was later questioned because of the likelihood of rain during the competition.
Besides South Africa, the ICC considered moving the tournament to Australia or the United Arab Emirates. ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat gave particular praise to the Emirates' bid, predicting that Abu Dhabi and Dubai "will be the scene for top-level international cricket in the future."
The ICC board also agreed to hold next year's World Twenty20 from April 30-May 16, 2010, in St. Lucia, Guyana, Barbados and St. Kitts. International cricket officials now face a decision on whether to keep Pakistan as co-host for the 2011 World Cup following the ambush of the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore earlier this month. Seven players and a coach were wounded when gunman fired on their bus. Six police officers and the driver of a van taking officials to the match were killed.

ICC reschedule Champions Trophy to 2009

The International Cricket Council said Wednesday it had decided to reschedule the Champions Trophy tournament in Pakistan, postponed this year amid security concerns, to next September.
The ICC said in a statement the tournament would go ahead between September 24 and October 5, 2009, with the matches being played in just one city in Pakistan, rather than the two mooted for this year. The tournament, which will include one reserve day, will therefore be five days shorter than the originally scheduled event.
The Board said it had considered available options following the original postponement and had decided that the final week of September and opening week of October fitted the bill with the shortened timeframe allowing for a single city. The ICC Board said it will make a final decision on the location following India's tour to Pakistan early next year in order to facilitate preparations by teams, broadcasters, commercial partners "and other stakeholders".
The Board added that a full schedule including match locations "will be announced in due course". ICC President David Morgan said: "We are delighted to have slotted the ICC Champions Trophy into the FTP (future tours programme) in 2009 thus maintaining the primacy of ICC events, and we now look forward to staging an outstanding, memorable event next September/October.
"The ICC Champions Trophy is part of a host of great ICC tournaments taking place next year, including the ICC Women's World Cup, the ICC World Cup Qualifier and the ICC World Twenty20 for both men and women. "All these events during the ICC Centenary year will showcase cricket in the best possible light and will help to ensure that our great game remains a strong sport growing stronger."
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat added: "I'm hugely encouraged by the spirit of togetherness and teamwork shown by our members in ensuring we have found a place for the ICC Champions Trophy in next year's calendar. "The tournament, with its new format of the top eight teams playing in a short, sharp event, is vitally important for the world game," said Lorgat, adding that Sri Lanka remained the stand-by venue should the security review in February 2009 be negative. This year's championships were postponed after South Africa pulled out, amid doubts over the participation of Australia, England and New Zealand.
But even the postponed Champions Trophy appeared in danger when both India and Australia objected to October 2009 dates as it clashed with Australia's seven-one-day international tour of the sub-continent. And as per ICC's agreement with the various sponsors, they have to hold a postponed tournament within one year of the original dates.
The new dates were finally worked out to the satisfaction of all boards involved, but the tournament had to be reduced to 12 days. "Given how packed the cricket calendar is, rescheduling dates is always a difficult task," said Morgan.
Morgan also confirmed that the 2010 Champions Trophy will be held as scheduled in the West Indies. Lorgat denied there were any moves within the ICC to change the format of the Champions Trophy, or to make it a quadrennial tournament.
"There has been some speculation about a change in format, but that's not true. We believe the current format is doing well, and reducing it to 12 days should work out well."

ICC Champions Trophy postponed until 2009

The International Cricket Council has postponed the Champions Trophy in Pakistan over ongoing security concerns
Common sense has prevailed over next month's Champions Trophy in Pakistan. The International Cricket Council has postponed the event due to ongoing security concerns. New Zealand Cricket was one of a number of countries unhappy, especially in light of a recent spate of suicide bombings in the troubled country.
CEO Justin Vaughan says while the right decision has been made, it is sad for the Pakistan Cricket Board. He says the country is under huge strain with President Pervez Musharraf having just resigned and bombs going off. Pakistan has managed to retain the hosting rights, with the tournament now scheduled for October next year.

ICC likely to decide Champions Trophy fate on Sunday

The International Cricket Council Wednesday said it is likely to make a final decision on the ill-fated Champions Trophy in Pakistan on Sunday.
The eight-nation biennial event, scheduled for September, has run into serious doubts after players from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England raised security concerns. "It is anticipated the ICC task team hook-up will take place on Friday 22 August and the ICC Board hook-up will be held on Sunday 24 August," said an ICC press release after a meeting at headquarters in Dubai.
The meeting was held a day after Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) urged its players not to tour the country following a wave of suicide bombings and ongoing political instability. The ICC last month decided to keep the event in Pakistan despite security fears. It also appointed an eight-man task force to oversee security arrangements in the host country in an effort to allay fears about safety.
But Australian newspapers have since reported that the ACA had advised its players not to travel to Pakistan. "The ACA has discussed the situation with its executive and our position is we can't recommend to our players they should tour Pakistan for the Champions Trophy," chief executive Paul Marsh was quoted as saying by The Australian newspaper.
The Champions Trophy is scheduled in Pakistan from September 12-28 with defending champions Australia, England, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa and the West Indies taking part.

Lawson urges teams to play in Champions Trophy

Playing down security concerns in Pakistan during the Champions Trophy in September, coach Geoff Lawson has urged all the international teams to tour the country and make the biennial event a resounding success.
“I have been in Pakistan since last year and I know the ground realities of how safe it is in this country. Anybody can make statements sitting outside no matter if it’s Australia, England or New Zealand,” he said referring to the three teams, which have been vociferously opposing to having the tournament in Pakistan. “They should come to Pakistan and experience for themselves what this country is exactly like. The ICC took the right decision to have the tournament in Pakistan,” Lawson said. Lawson was also critical of the Australian board and its players when they pulled out of their Test tour to Pakistan early this year and insisted it was as safe in Pakistan as in anywhere in the world.
“I think no one can make absolute guarantee but the security provided for cricket in Pakistan is absolutely strong and I am sure it will be the same in the Champions Trophy,” said the Australian, who is working on a two-year contract with the national team. The former Test pacer has been training the Pakistan team in a special conditioning camp in the military base of Kakul and feels it has been a thrilling exercise for the youngsters.
“They’ve had physical training from the army and as the army is renowned for their discipline they’ve tried to inject some in the Pakistan team.... and it’s been great working in accordance with army here at training,” he said. awson said Pakistan was blessed with good pace bowling talent and added that players such as Rao Iftikhar, Sohail Tanvir and Fawad Alam were progressing well.
Asked about the impact of the absence of experienced pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, Lawson said the team had good players to make up the loss. “Since I’ve been the coach I’ve hardly seen Shoaib and Asif representing Pakistan ... and the current Pakistan team is far better and our hopes are high,” he added.

ICC Champions Trophy to stay in Pakistan

The International Cricket Council decided Thursday to keep September's Champions Trophy in troubled Pakistan but it will appoint a commission to ensure security, officials said.
The decision came after the ICC's executive board held a teleconference to discuss the possibility of moving the biennial tournament because of security fears raised by Australia, England and New Zealand.
"The Champions Trophy will stay in Pakistan and we thank all member countries for their kind support," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Naseem Ashraf told a news conference. "The ICC will be appointing a special taskforce to ensure that the implementation of the recommendations of the (ICC-commissioned) security report are indeed being met," Ashraf said.
The year's biggest one-day tournament, featuring the top eight one-day nations, is due to be held in Pakistan from September 11 to 28, with Australia as the defending champions. ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat sought to allay fears players might pull out of the event, saying the council would do all in its power to ensure their safety.
"It's not something that I treat lightly, but I think it's something that we can manage," Lorgat told reporters in Sri Lanka. "We have to separate perception from reality. While those concerns exist, we will do our utmost to assure them (players) we would not go in a tournament where safety or security is going to be compromised."
Ashraf said the security commission would comprise ICC president David Morgan, vice president Sharad Pawar, Lorgat, principal advisor Inderjeet Bindra and himself. It would also feature a representative from the tournament's official broadcasters, ESPN-Star, and a member of the Federation of International Cricketers' Association, he said. Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik hailed the decision and vowed to make the tournament a success.
"I congratulate the people of Pakistan, who will now witness the best players playing in the event and we will all combine our efforts with the PCB and the government to make this tournament a great success," Malik told AFP. Pakistan's fate as tournament host was left hanging in the balance on Sunday after a security briefing in Dubai featuring all participating nations decided to wait for the ICC teleconference to announce a decision. Players from Australia, England and New Zealand had raised security concerns Wednesday.
Pakistan is fighting Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants in its northwestern tribal regions bordering Afghanistan and has suffered a string of deadly suicide bomb attacks in the last year which have killed more than 1,000 people. ICC delegates at Sunday's meeting were briefed over security arrangements made during the incident-free six-nation Asia Cup competition which Pakistan hosted from June 24 to July 6.
However, a bomb blast in the capital Islamabad on July 6 killed 19 people, mostly police, and there was a series of minor blasts in Karachi the following day which killed one person and wounded dozens. Rawalpindi, which adjoins Islamabad, is one of three venues for the Champions Trophy along with Lahore and Karachi.
Several foreign teams have refused to tour Pakistan since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and the ensuing US-led invasion of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban regime. Pakistan had to relocate two of its home series to Sri Lanka and Sharjah after the West Indies and Australia refused to tour in 2002.
New Zealand also had to cut short a tour of Pakistan after a bomb blast outside their hotel in Karachi killed 19 people, including 14 French naval staff, in May 2002. Australia also postponed a full tour of Pakistan in March-April this year due to the security situation. However, they agreed to reschedule the tour in two visits -- one-dayers in 2009 and Tests in 2010. Australia are due to defend the title they won in 2006 against the West Indies. Hosts Pakistan, South Africa, the West Indies, England, India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand are the other teams taking part.

ICC calls emergency meeting to review Champions security

Unhappy with the tardy implementation of security blueprint for the Champions Trophy by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the International Cricket Council (ICC) has called for an emergency meeting in Dubai on Sunday.
Reliable sources said that the ICC has called the meeting following reservations expressed by its security consultants on the security arrangements for the mega event in September though Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) described it as just a scheduled meeting to take stock of security measures being implemented so far. "The ICC security consultants are not happy with the implementation of the security plan for the tournament ... That is the main reason why this meeting has been called," a wellplaced sources said.
The source also said that Pakistan has been tardy in implementing the security plans chalked out for the Champions Trophy. "Even for the Asia Cup, it was on the recommendation of these ICC security consultants that private experts were hired to go and constantly monitor the Asia Cup to see if their recommendations were implemented properly," said the source.
PCB Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi, however, denied that it was emergency meeting and there was no threat on Pakistan hosting the mega tournament. "It is not an emergency meeting ... it's a scheduled one and we remain confident that the Champions Trophy will not be relocated to any other country," Naghmi said. "Basically the meeting has been convened to review the security arrangements we made for the Asia Cup and it will also go through the reports of the ICC security consultants who monitored the Asia Cup," he added.
Naghmi also said he was not concerned with reports of England having jumped into the fray as alternate venue if the Champions Trophy is relocated from Pakistan. "Look we are not bothered by what is being reported in the media. We know that the ICC has not indicated to us that the tournament would not be held in Pakistan and, secondly, the ICC secretariat in Lahore is also working as per schedule and making all preparations for the event," Naghmi added.

Shoaib named in Pakistan's Champions Trophy squad

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday included fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar in the provisional 30-man squad for the Champions Trophy, but dropped Mohammad Asif amid new drugs allegations.
A Pakistani court earlier this month said the 32-year-old Akhtar was free to play cricket again after suspending an 18-month ban imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for indiscipline. "We have shown a big heart by including Akhtar as it is in the larger interest of the game," said the PCB's chief operating officer while announcing the squad in a press conference.
Pakistan had to delay the announcement after Akhtar was asked to pay a seven million rupee (162,000 dollars) fine, which was imposed by an appellate tribunal last month along with the ban -- that replaced an original five-year ban imposed earlier this year. Akhtar's lawyer Monday assured that the paceman will pay the fine once his appeal against his latest ban is decided. Akhtar was in April banned for five years over a series of discipline violations, including public criticism of the PCB on excluding him from a list of 15 contracted players.
He was already on two years' probation for hitting Asif with a bat days before the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa last September. Asif was in the preliminary squad until his name was announced by the Indian Premier League as dope offender on Monday.
He also faces an internal PCB inquiry after he was seized at Dubai airport last month on charges of possessing opium. He was detained for 19 days before the Gulf police said the quantity of drug was "insignificant" and deported him. Akhtar and Asif missed the last Champions Trophy held in India in 2006 after they were withdrawn from the team following positive dope tests.
A PCB doping tribunal banned Akhtar for two years and Asif for one year. However the bans were overturned on appeals. Besides losing Asif, Pakistan also suffered a crucial blow when ace batsman Mohammad Yousuf pulled out of the Champions Trophy saying he would not play any cricket in the holy month of Ramadan to focus on prayers. Naghmi said all the 30 players will undergo dope tests on July 19 and 20 to avoid any further doping controversy.
Pakistan hosts the biennial Champions Trophy from September 11-28 but the eight top teams event will be played under a cloud after players from Australia, New Zealand and England raised safety concerns. Last week's blasts in the capital Islamabad and Karachi further endangered Pakistan's chances of hosting the event.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is awaiting a security assessment of Pakistan during the Asia Cup, which finished here on Sunday. The ICC categorically said it is following a security process and will not compromise on it. In case Pakistan is not found fit to host the Trophy, Sri Lanka has been chosen the alternate venue. Pakistan Team: Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul Haq, Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Khalid Latif, Ahmed Shahzad, Khurrum Manzoor, Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Bazid Khan, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanveer, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Arafat, Mansoor Amjad, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Mohammad Ali, Rao Iftikhar, Sohail Khan, Abdur Rauf, Wahab Riaz, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Amir, Kamran Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Abdul Rehman, Saeed Ajmal

Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.