Islamabad, Pakistan:Pakistan still hopes to host next month's Champions Trophy despite four of the cricket tournament's leading teams still holding concerns over security.
"We will host the event as per schedule," Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf said Monday.
Players of defending champion Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa have expressed reservations over traveling to Pakistan for the Sept. 12-28 limited-overs tournament - rated as the second biggest event in the International Cricket Council's calendar after the World Cup.
Last week a high profile ICC taskforce - led by chief executive Haroon Logart - visited Pakistan where they were briefed on the security arrangements at host cities Lahore and Karachi.
"I have even talked to Mr. Logart (via telephone) and he has given the assurance that the Champions Trophy will be organized in Pakistan," Ashraf said.
Pakistan coach and former Australian test bowler Geoff Lawson joined ICC officials meeting with players from New Zealand and Australia last week in a bid to ease their concerns over the safety of visiting Pakistan for the tournament.
The other nations contesting the Champions Trophy are the West Indies, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Neighboring Sri Lanka is the standby venue should Pakistan be ruled out as host, but ICC general manager Dave Richardson has said that time is running and a decision has to be made within a few days if the biennial event is to be shifted
The PCB will organize practice games at Lahore this week and dress rehearsals will be held for security arrangements, including the ferrying of teams from hotel to the stadium.