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CA uncertain over Australia's participation in CT

Melbourne, Aug 16 (UNI) The ICC's efforts to convince participating teams for the Champions Trophy seems to bear not fruit as defending Champion Australia is not certain whether it will take part in the ODI tournament scheduled to be held in Pakistan this September.

The ICC delegation met with CA here yesterday with Australian captain Ricky Ponting, deputy Michael Clarke and players' union boss Paul Marsh also present, to outline security measures for the tournament.

But Cricket Australia (CA) continues to have concerns over player safety in the strife-torn nation as the ICC failed to convince the World Champions to participate.

CA chief executive James Sutherland made it clear that the Board was still not sure about its decision and said a number of issues were raised with the ICC which needed to be addressed before a final decision was made.

''It's coming down to crunch time,'' Sutherland said here yesterday.

''The ICC taskforce needs to report back to the ICC, they need to take on the advice that they're picking up, not only from feedback they're getting from Australia, but also from New Zealand and England and South Africa and other parts of the world,'' he added.

Meanwhile, the ICC general manager Dave Richardson, in yesterday's meeting, said they adviced that the event would be safe in Pakistan.

Richardson said shifting the tournament to Sri Lanka was an option if leading teams refused to play in Pakistan.

''We're very short of time now, if we're going to relocate (that decision) needs to be made in the next few days, so time is of the essence,'' Richardson added.

Meanwhile, Australian team memebers continue to express their reluctance as on Thursday, pacer Stuart Clark admitted that he was feeling increasingly uncomfortable about playing in Pakistan.


Story first published: Saturday, August 16, 2008, 13:32 [IST]
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