ICC to consider five backup cities for Champions Trophy

Nov 30, -0001
LAHORE: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has finalised the names of five back up cities in case the elite Champions Trophy is shifted from Sri Lanka owing to rainy season.

"We have shortlisted five cities including Perth, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Dubai and Abu Dhabi to stage the event in case it is shifted from Sri Lanka as September-October, the dates of the tournament, can be a rainy season which may spoil programme of matches," said David Richardson, ICC General Manager Cricket at a news conference here on Monday at the Qadaffi Stadium.

The eight-team competition which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan has been shifted to Sri Lanka due to security concerns shown by member affiliated countries of ICC.

"We have received doubts from some countries that weather could be inclement in Sri Lanka that is why we have shortlisted the back up venues," he asserted.

He made it clear that if the tournament does not take place in Sri Lanka then it will be spanned over 12 days which means that we have to have two venues in virtually the same city to avoid travelling,” Richardson said.

Answering a question,he said bilateral series among the member countries should go on as per schedule.

"We are in Pakistan and the security being provided to the Lanka team for the two test series is good and we hope that New Zealand will visit Pakistan later this year as part of a bilateral cricket relation," he said, adding, "New Zealand cricket may send its security team to assess security situation in Pakistan for the tour."

He said as far as ICC tournaments are concerned it is not possible to urge the members countries to participate in a specific tournament because countries have their own point of view based on certain issues.

"We cannot push the countries to ensure their participation in a particular tournament and that is why Champions Trophy was shifted from Pakistan as most the countries expressed concerns on security issues," he said.

He said ICC is celebrating its hundred years celebrations (1909-2009) throughout the world in its cricket playing members countries by evolving a collective spirit to use cricket as an effective medium to involve youth in it and in social activities for society building.

The ICC officials presented ICCA official flag which carries the signatures of high profile cricketers of different countries who expressed solidarity with the games ruling body on its centennial celebrations.

"We started this campaign (signatures) from Australia and we have visited many countries now we are in Pakistan and so far Hanif Mohammad and Abdul Qadir have put their signatures on the flag and we are expecting that other test cricketers will join us as there is no restriction of number of signatures," he said.

He said ICC is encouraging use of technology in the game and it is making various steps to expand the use of electronic gadgets in all levels of the game to make the game more fair by reviewing the decisions.

He said ICC will not encourage the inclusion of players in national squads who are playing in Indian Cricket League which is a parallel and unauthorized event.

"We cannot encourage such events because they can cause trouble by promoting problems relating to corruption,doping and other issues and that is why we have a firm stance on it that we will not allow players appearing in ICL to resume international cricket," he said.

ICC official said more Pakistani players will be chosen for ICC Hall of Fame and initially the names of 55 players from world wide have been selected.

"We will not put any restriction on any player who are playing in ICL for not considering them for Hall of Fame, playing cricket in an-unauthorized cricket league and Hall of Fame are two different issues," he said. -APP

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