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The ICC's Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) has recommended that the Champions Trophy in September be shifted from Sri Lanka to South Africa following concerns over weather conditions in the island nation during that period. The ICC board is expected to take a final decision on the matter on Monday.
According to the ICC, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) were unable to provide a guarantee during a teleconference on Wednesday that there would be no rains in Colombo during the tournament which runs from September 24-October 5.
"It was felt that it would be too great a risk to stage the tournament in Colombo at a time of year when there was a distinct possibility of rain," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive, said. "This was especially relevant given the length of this year's ICC Champions Trophy has been reduced to 12 days, part of our desire to make it a short, sharp event, as on that basis there would be no room for reserve days."
Lorgat, however, said the decision to recommend South Africa as the new host of the tournament was subject to agreement over various financial arrangements. Sources in the CEC told Cricinfo that if the ICC board approves the committee's recommendation, Cricket South Africa (CSA) will then have to confirm whether they accept the event's revenue model.
"South Africa was a successful and excellent host of the ICC World Twenty20 at much the same time of the year, two years ago, and the weather pattern in the area around Johannesburg in September and October is stable and ideal for cricket," Lorgat said.
Duleep Mendis, the SLC's chief executive, had on Tuesday said he was confident Sri Lanka would remain the event's host as they did not expect heavy rains during the tournament.
"We are extremely grateful for Sri Lanka Cricket's willingness to step aside in this matter and for Cricket South Africa's willingness to be considered as the host for the event," Lorgat said.
The Champions Trophy was originally scheduled to be held in Lahore and Karachi from September 12 last year but has since been subject to a series of revisions due to the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan and a packed international schedule. Sri Lanka, originally the reserve venue, was officially declared as the event's host in January.