Dubai, Aug.13 : The ICC's task team for the ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan has agreed to send delegations to meet with stakeholders from New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa.
And it has confirmed the tournament will be staged at two venues - Lahore and Karachi - with Rawalpindi not now hosting any matches (tournament schedule is attached).
The group dispatched to the UK, led by ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat, will present early next week, while the delegation to New Zealand and Australia, will be led by ICC General Manager - Cricket, David Richardson.
That group will also include Tim May, the Chief Executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA), and also Pakistan coach and former Australia fast bowler Geoff Lawson. It will present on 14 August (New Zealand) and 15 August (Australia).
The decisions were approved as part of a telephone hook-up of the task team on Tuesday evening following two days of observations, meetings and presentations received by task team members in Pakistan.
Reflecting on the groups that will journey to Australia and New Zealand and also to the UK, where England and South Africa are playing, chairman of the task team and ICC President David Morgan said: "Our desire is to ensure that every stakeholder is content with arrangements and is comfortable with the ICC Champions Trophy taking place in Pakistan.
"To that end, it was agreed that representatives who have attended the latest briefings and demonstrations in Lahore and Karachi will visit stakeholders who have expressed reservations to let them know of the safety and security measures on the ground.
"The results of those meetings will then be fed back to me and also to the ICC Vice President Sharad Pawar and ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat on 20 August so we can make a further assessment of the comfort levels of our participating members.
"We are committed to a safe and secure event in Pakistan. We believe these visits and the feedback we get from them will play a major role in us achieving those ends," he added.
Explaining the decision to switch to two venues, Mr Lorgat, who led the task team's trip, said: "During the recently completed Asia Cup there were no fixtures at Rawalpindi and that didn't allow us the opportunity to check the security arrangements, so there has been no way for us to formulate an opinion on the venue.
"We believe that by excluding Rawalpindi and using just two venues, both of them successful hosts during the Asia Cup, it will remove doubt, allow a further concentration of resources and thus improve comfort levels for all stakeholders in the event."
The decision to focus the tournament on Karachi and Lahore was agreed by the task team and signed off by other stakeholders, including competing teams and player representatives.
Lahore will stage eight of the tournament's 15 matches, including the opener between the hosts and the West Indies, on 12 September, the second semi-final on 26 September and the final two days later.
Karachi will stage the remaining matches, including defending champions Australia's opening match, against India, on 13 September, and blockbuster encounters between Pakistan and Australia (15 September) and India and Pakistan (20 September).ommenting on the two days Mr Lorgat said: "We are all grateful for the opportunity to visit Pakistan and receive briefings and demonstrations which have allowed us to observe first hand the reality rather than deal in theories or perceptions."
Story first published: Wednesday, August 13, 2008, 18:55 [IST]
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