Karachi, July 17 : Pakistan is eagerly waiting for the ICC (International Cricket Council) briefing this Sunday (July 20) after its meeting to decide whether it was safe to hold the forthcoming Champions Trophy in Pakistan or not.
The tournament is to be played from September 11-28 in Pakistan, even as reports have suggested that England has emerged as the favourites to host the elite eight-nation tournament, as it would be shifted from Pakistan due to security reasons, especially in the wake of recent spate of bombings.
A top PCB official reportedly said that the Board was fully prepared to help assuage any fears about the Champions Trophy during the briefing to be held at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai.
"We have assured fool-proof security measures for the Champions Trophy. There is no reason for us to believe that the tournament will be relocated from Pakistan," The News quoted PCB chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi, as saying.
Naghmi said that the Board was hoping for a "positive outcome" from the briefing saying that Pakistan wanted the uncertainty hovering over the Champions Trophy to end. "Everything that needs to be done has been done to ensure that the Champions Trophy is held here smoothly and safely. We've informed the ICC, the security experts and the competing nations about it and now hope that all the stake-holders will consider it objectively," he said.
Australia and England have fears that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will make them greater targets in Pakistan. Australia and the Britain are members of the coalition forces fighting in both countries.
Meanwhile, Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik has urged the ICC not to move the Champions Trophy out of his country, as, in his words, "Pakistan was perfectly safe for international teams".
"Pakistan is the safest country for cricket and all teams must come here without any fears of security," said Malik a day after Pakistan announced its 30-man provisional squad for the Trophy.
Story first published: Thursday, July 17, 2008, 13:30 [IST]
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