PCB still hopeful of hosting Champions Trophy

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/pcb-logo.jpg' class='caption'> Uncertainty looms large over Pakistan hosting the Champions Trophy in September but the PCB remains hopeful.

Updated: July 24, 2008 09:15 IST
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Uncertainty looms large over Pakistan hosting the Champions Trophy in September but the PCB remains confident that the elite event will not be relocated to another country due to security concerns.

The issue was on Sunday referred to the ICC Board for a final decision after some members expressed fears during the ICC briefing on the security arrangement made for the event.

ICC consultants briefed all the participating nations along with players' representatives and broadcast partner ESPN STAR Sports in Dubai.

If sources are to be believed, South Africa is all set to host the event with at least four countries pushing for the relocation of the event from Pakistan during the briefing.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi said PCB would comment on the matter only after a final decision taken by the ICC Board.

"We don't want to say anything at this stage. We are waiting like others for the final decision, but we are still confident that we will be allowed to host the tournament as scheduled in September," Naghmi, who attended the ICC meeting in Dubai, said.

According to PCB sources, besides Australia, New Zealand and England, South Africa also expressed reservations about playing in trouble-torn Pakistan.

"The South Africans also followed the line of Australia, New Zealand and England and said their players were also not keen to play in Pakistan in the given circumstances," a source said.

The sources claimed that even though PCB was hoping to get a favourable decision from the ICC Board, its representatives were actually not that confident and chances are that the event would be shifted in the next 48 hours either to England or South Africa.

"Basically in the next two days the ICC will decide which country is best equipped and ready at this time to host the tournament at a short notice," a source said.

The source added that ICC security consultants pointed out some problems with the implementation of security plans in the recent Asia Cup in Karachi.

"One issue raised was that despite specific directions that some roads leading to the stadium should be blocked during the Asia Cup this was not done.

"The broadcasters, ESPN Star sports also wanted assurances at the meeting that they would be provided the same level of security, which would be given to the teams and officials," the source said.

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