Relieved Pakistan vow safe Champions Trophy

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The pakistan cricket authorities said that they were more focused than ever on staging a safe Champions Trophy.

Updated: July 27, 2008 17:49 IST
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Pakistan's relieved cricket authorities said on Friday that they were more focused than ever on staging a safe Champions Trophy following a decision to keep the prestigious event in their country.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) decided Thursday to keep the Champions Trophy in Pakistan, despite fears of a pull-out by players from Australia, New Zealand and England over security concerns.

The ICC appointed a task force to ensure a tight security plan is implemented for the September 11-28 tournament, in which Australia are the defending champions.

"Yes, we are relieved and more focused now that a decision has finally been made, although we always had confidence in the wisdom of the ICC board," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi said.

"It's a matter of great satisfaction that the security concerns were addressed and it is now more a question of addressing the perceptions, and separate perceptions from reality," said Naghmi.

The cricketers' associations of Australia and New Zealand have however expressed disappointment at the ICC decision and advised players not to travel to Pakistan.

England's players will also be asked for their views on the matter.

Naghmi said he hoped the ICC task force would ensure their fears were addressed.

"I hope the task force would allay the fears of all the individuals and, by overseeing our arrangements, keep us well prepared for a successful event," said Naghmi.

The eight-member task force, headed by ICC president David Morgan, is likely to visit Pakistan next month.

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