ICC backs Pakistan to stage Champions Trophy

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pakistan was given a vote of confidence Tuesday by international cricket bosses as it gears up to host the Champions Trophy later this year.

International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ray Mali said he was confident Pakistan would put on a good tournament as the country had experience of running such events in the past.

The tournament, from September 11 to 28, involves all the major cricketing powers -- Australia, South Africa, India, England, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

Pakistan also host the six-nation Asia Cup involving defending champions Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates from June 24 to July 6.

Mali, who arrived with other ICC officials for Wednesday's launch of the Champions Trophy, said:
"The Asia Cup will give Pakistan an opportunity to rehearse for the Champions Trophy."

Mali and other ICC officials held talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over preparations for the event.

PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf gave assurances on security.

"The ICC is launching the event in Lahore on Wednesday and that is an ample proof that there are no problems. We have made foolproof security arrangements for the event,"
said Nasim Ashraf.

It will be the first time that Pakistan has staged a major sporting event since hosting a quadrangular tournament in 1997. Pakistan also hosted some matches of the 1996 World Cup with India and Sri Lanka.

Australia put off their March-April tour to Pakistan this year over security fears.

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