Champions trophy will not hinder sanctity of Ramzan: ICC

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Lahore, Nov 4 (UNI) The International Cricket Council (ICC) will leave no stone unturned to maintain the ''sanctity of Ramzan'' and make sure that the impending Champions trophy not just becomes successful but a memorable event for the people of Pakistan.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has earlier requested the ICC to change the dates for the Champions trophy, which was clashing with the Muslim holy month of Ramzan, amid opposition from four Test playing countries of England, India, West Indies and New Zealand.

Representatives of the four countries opposed the idea on the ground that their teams will be engaged in other international assignments in October according to the ICC Future Tour Programme and thus will not be able to take part in the event.

''The PCB is playing a key role with us to make certain the sanctity of Ramzan is maintained throughout the 15-day duration of the 2008 Champions Trophy,'' he said. ''A special prayers' area for spectators at each of the match venues is in our plans plus providing them other special facilities. The bottom line for the ICC is to achieve our objective at all costs,'' a ICC spokesman told Dawn.

''We are exploring avenues to make the ICC Champions Trophy 2008 not only a successful but a memorable event for the people of Pakistan,'' the spokesman added.

The spokesman stressed that the major issue concerning the ICC is to resolve matters in rescheduling the tournament.

The ICC Champions Trophy, is the second most important tournament after the World Cup. It was inaugurated as the ICC Knock Out tournament in 1998 and has been played every two years since, changing its name to the Champions Trophy in 2002.

Four-time World Cup winners Australia won the last edition of the event in India last November.

The ICC team, accompanied by PCB director cricket operations Zakir Khan and other cricket-board officials, inspected facilities at Gaddafi Stadium.

The delegation leaves for Rawalpindi today before it arrives in Karachi the next day. During their stay in the city, they will visit National Stadium, the NBP Sports Complex and the Defence Stadium.

UNI

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