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Pakistan keeps Champions Trophy

Shiv Chanderpaul and Brett Lee during the 2006 final
Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brett Lee during the 2006 final

The International Cricket Council says September's Champions Trophy event will remain in Pakistan, after appointing a special task force to ensure security.

The ICC discussed the possibility of moving the tournament because of security fears raised by Australia, England and New Zealand.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Naseem Ashraf said: "We thank all member countries for their kind support."

The security commission will include the British ICC president David Morgan.

Vice president Sharad Pawar, chief executive Haroon Lorgat, principal advisor Inderjeet Bindra and Ashraf will also be on the task force.

They will be joined by a representative from the tournament's official broadcasters, ESPN-Star, and a member of the Federation of International Cricketers Association.

"We sat round a table and everybody gave their view and it was a collective decision that came out, everyone is supportive of it," Lorgat told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"We will make sure that the measures we have to put in place will be put in place to ensure the competition can go ahead in Pakistan."

606: DEBATE
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The year's biggest one-day tournament, featuring the top eight one-day nations, begins on 11 September, with Australia as the defending champions.

Pakistan is fighting Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants in its northwestern tribal regions bordering Afghanistan and has suffered a string of deadly suicide bomb attacks in the last year which have killed more than 1,000 people.

ICC delegates at a meeting on Sunday were briefed over security arrangements made during the incident-free six-nation Asia Cup competition which Pakistan hosted from June 24 to July 6.

However, a bomb blast in the capital Islamabad on July 6 killed 19 people, mostly police, and there was a series of minor blasts in Karachi the following day which killed one person and wounded dozens.

Rawalpindi, which adjoins Islamabad, is one of three venues for the Champions Trophy along with Lahore and Karachi.

Several foreign teams have refused to tour Pakistan since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and the ensuing US-led invasion of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban regime.

Based on expert reports read and heard during Sunday's meeting there is no way we can recommend touring Pakistan at this time

Australian Cricketers Association chief executive Paul Marsh

Pakistan had to relocate two of its home series to Sri Lanka and Sharjah after the West Indies and Australia refused to tour in 2002, while they also postponed a tour due to be played earlier this year.

New Zealand cut short a tour of Pakistan after a bomb blast outside their hotel in Karachi killed 19 people, including 14 French naval staff, in May 2002.

The Champions Trophy will be the largest international cricket event in Pakistan since it co-hosted the World Cup with India in 1996.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has always insisted the eight-nation, 18-day tournament can proceed safely.

England's first match is against Sri Lanka in Karachi, on 14 September.

Australian Cricketers Association chief executive Paul Marsh had been among those urging a change of venue.

"Based on expert reports read and heard during Sunday's meeting there is no way the ACA can recommend touring Pakistan at this time," Marsh said.


see also
Tait returns to Australia squad
10 Jul 08 |  Cricket
Champions Trophy gets all-clear
18 Jun 08 |  Cricket
Benazir Bhutto killed in attack
27 Dec 07 |  South Asia
Australia postpone Pakistan tour
11 Mar 08 |  Cricket
England receive kind Trophy draw
22 Mar 08 |  Cricket
ICC Champions Trophy 2008
22 Mar 08 |  Cricket
England seventh seeds for Trophy
01 Mar 08 |  England
Aussies cruise to Trophy triumph
05 Nov 06 |  Cricket
Elated Windies return home
28 Sep 04 |  International Teams
Here comes the rain again
30 Sep 02 |  ICC Champions Trophy


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