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September 8, 2008
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, has justified postponing the Champions Trophy to 2009, stating the absence of four teams would have robbed the event of its world-class nature.
Lorgat, who was in New Delhi to announce the nominations for this year's ICC Awards, said the decision was unanimous after the ICC saw no point going ahead. The tournament, involving the top eight teams in the world, was originally scheduled for September 2008 but was put off after some of the teams were reluctant to travel to Pakistan.
"As many as four teams were apprehensive about the security there. After all, we cannot force players if they don't want to go and play there," he told PTI. "Then we had documents from some people who did some research on the issue and finally we had to postpone the event.
"I guess most people respected our decision because the last thing we wanted was a Champions Trophy that was just not world-class." Lorgat was quick to dismiss the notion that the ICC was divided with the Asian bloc on one side and the rest on the other. "Prior to working with the ICC, even I had read about the issues," he said. "But now, I can say that there is nothing even close to what is being claimed."
He also brushed aside doubts over the revised Champions Trophy schedule coinciding with the second edition of the Champions League, to be held September-October, as well as the India-Australia ODI series from mid-October.
"I don't think the FTP [Future Tours Programme] is running out of control," Lorgat said. "We have a chief executive committee meeting in Dubai this week where we'll discuss the calendar. There is an existing framework for the FTP and we will work under that."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.