ICC board meeting February 1, 2009

Pakistan not to host 2009 Champions Trophy

Cricinfo staff

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The ICC has decided not to stage the postponed 2009 Champions Trophy in Pakistan after several members expressed reservations about touring the troubled country on the second day of its board meeting in Perth. The location of the event, however, is yet to be finalised, but a decision is expected before the board's next scheduled meeting in April.

"It is unfortunate the ICC Champions Trophy will not take place in Pakistan due to circumstances completely beyond the control of the PCB," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said. "However, the board has accepted the need for certainty in planning for and delivering a world-class event and will now assess where the event should be held."

The tournament, originally scheduled for September 2008, had been postponed by a year after a number of participating countries raised concerns over touring Pakistan due to security concerns. Although Pakistan will not host the event, they will retain the revenue due for hosting the tournament, the ICC board decided.

The ICC also offered to form a task team to visit Pakistan and work with the PCB "to find ways to ensure that, wherever possible, international cricket is played in the country in the future". Pakistan has struggled to attract touring teams for a number of years owing to their concerns over its security. Two home series, against Australia and West Indies, were relocated in the aftermath of the 9/11 bombings in America in 2001, and Australia also postponed their full tour of Pakistan last year. India then pulled out of a tour starting in January this year in the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist strikes, following which Sri Lanka agreed to a split tour.

Former Pakistan captain and commentator Ramiz Raja, however, was disappointed with the decision to shift the tournament. "I think Pakistan has done enough to tell the world that cricket is not targeted in the country," he told AFP. "While the PCB wanted to host the Champions Trophy, they insisted to host Australia on a neutral venue in April. That must have confused the decision-makers."

Managing security and terrorism intelligence has been high on the agenda for the ICC, and it was believed the attacks on Mumbai and the troubled security situation in Pakistan which led to the postponement of the Champions Trophy may have also prompted the ICC to consider extending the purview of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).

The Champions Trophy is expected to rake in around US$40 million, most of which will be redeployed for the development of the game.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bilal on February 2, 2009, 19:12 GMT

    A wrong decision indeed. Pakistan has done more than enough to prove that it's safe for cricket. If this is the case then teams shouldn't visit India as well because the situation here is not any better. I know because I have lived in India recently. But most cricketers and cricket boards (including ICC) are like greedy and they go wherever they see money. Its totally ridiculous. I bet if PCB was richer, ICC would've had no problem with the tournament being held in Pakistan.

  • Shiva on February 2, 2009, 18:05 GMT

    Its really a funny thought that I get after seeing what is happening. As long as India was backing Pakistan the country got to hold on to the rights to host the Champions trophy. As soon as the Mumbai terror attacks happened and the BCCI knew it will not be able to send the Indian team to Pakistan ICC has re-scheduled the event. Hmmmm. Looks like more than just coincidence to me :-)

  • Shabbir on February 2, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    Pakistan should boycott ICC.

  • Fahad on February 2, 2009, 14:56 GMT

    I feel its a disrespecting attitude of ICC towards Pakistan. There is no problem for sportsmen there and situation is politically bad rather than being bad for sports.

    For me, what matters is respect to my country. ICC called us cheaters and now they have turned the decision back.

    Pakistan is as safe for sportsmen as Sri Lanka was in 1996 when countries refused to tour it. To not tour it on the basis of security is useless. Squash players regularly visit here, we are the hub of Squash activities, why something doesn't happen to them?

    Why a Pakistani should go to Dubai to watch a home game? Why he should pay extra 3000$ for a match that was supposed to be at home? Average Pakistani doesn't earn much.

    We should not beg to Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa to play in our country. We should not!

  • Kashif on February 2, 2009, 12:56 GMT

    ICC has become an international body like UN where only the interests of the powerful countries matter. The so called big four (possibly with the exception of India) have no interest in Pakistan cricket. PCB has allowed itself to become a punching bag without retaliating the least to these countries. Unless it takes a principled and justified stand to cancel some tours to these countries and boycott some of the international events, it will continue to be treated like that. Pakistanis are already losing interest in cricket and if this situation continues, people won't bother if Pakistan does not play international cricket at all. Let the big four play cricket among themselves and claim themselves as world champions. I would like to see Pakistan boycott international cricket until these countries are willing to reconsider their position on touring Pakistan.

  • Junaid on February 2, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    In my opinion its an absolutely wrong and unfair decision to shift Champions Trophy from Pakistan on security issue. Can India ensure that there will be no further terrorist attacks in India? Can England ensure that there will be no attacks like London bombings. Also even after attacks in India England toured India then why they are not willing to come to Pakistan. Situation in India is also not very good. In past 12 months there have been attacks in almost every big city of India then why teams are going there.In my opinion they are going bcz of money and have no security issue if money is involved. If Pakistan starts PPL i can assure u that all players will come without any issue bcz they have concern for money if money is not invoved they use security concern as a lame excuse. My question is why they are willing to go in india and not in Pakistan? Now situation in Pakistan is very much stable more then India in the recent past in my opinion.Champions Trophy should be in PAK

  • James on February 2, 2009, 10:28 GMT

    ICC took the right decision to shift the Champions trophy. Pakistan & PCB says that the Jihadists (terrorists)have never attacked Cricketers or Sports personnel BUT is there ANY gurantee that they will not DO if they get a Chance? I am sure that Terrorists if got chance they will target Cricketers coz it will be the most attention seeking STRIKE. Also given the animosity towards India they will not hesitate to target Indian Cricketers during Champions trophy.

  • Salman on February 2, 2009, 10:24 GMT

    All these kinds of decision of icc reflecting its poor managment.Pakistan do every thing but icc goes wrong.

  • Uday on February 2, 2009, 9:46 GMT

    In the light of recent events, it is indeed going to be tricky for both parties.

  • Faizan on February 2, 2009, 8:53 GMT

    Shame on ICC for being such hypocrites. Terrorism has become an international problem since 9/11. No one can guarantee absolute 100% security. Guru008 you're very ignorant for saying that Pakistan has a terrorist problem when infact the most recent terrorist act took place in India, with the Indian authorities struggling to bring down 10 terrorists in 3 days. Nobody can predict the time, extent and targets of an act of terrorism but we can still take measures to give a reasonable guarantee of anti-terrorist security measures something which Pakistan did a long time back. Pakistan should remove the ban from the ICL players in retaliation. ICC has left Pakistan stranded in her time of distress and there is no reason why Pakistan should support the ICC's hypocritical idealogies anymore. With ICL players back in Pakistan's side, Pakistan will reign supreme in international cricket

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