Dubai, Aug.23 : The International Cricket Council (ICC) will require at least seven days to reschedule and reorganise the Champions Trophy from Pakistan to Sri Lanka,fuelling speculation that it will announce a tournament shift tomorrow night.
A senior Australian official was told yesterday that the tournament could be successfully shifted on one week's notice.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Cricket Australia is awaiting the announcement of the tournament's destination, which will be done after a phone hook-up between ICC member nations tomorrow.
It is also understood that security checks of Sri Lanka could be completed to the satisfaction of the countries unwilling to tour Pakistan - Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa - in seven days.
The ICC apparently has realised that it cannot convince these four teams to tour, given that in the last three days there have been bomb blasts across Pakistan, leading to the deaths of over 100 people.
Though ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat has said it would be too late for a shift, Australian officials said that they had been told that there was still a "50-50 chance" it could be played in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan cricket board has said that it would be ready at a moment's notice to host the games.
Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appears entrenched in its view that the tournament should be held in Pakistan.
BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah refused to predict the outcome of the phone hook-up of ICC presidents, but pledged full support for the Pakistan cricket board.
"We are supporting Pakistan. The event must be in Pakistan. I don't think we will change our stance at the moment. I don't think the Indian board will change in the present circumstances," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Shah, as saying.
Pressed on whether a refusal to shift the trophy to Sri Lanka would split the cricket world, he said: "I don't think it will be divided. I think there will be a solution on this."
Short of a last-moment relocation, however, the only alternative to staging a dreadfully cheapened Champions Trophy would appear to be cancellation.
Story first published: Saturday, August 23, 2008, 18:13 [IST]
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