Champions Trophy to go ahead as scheduled: ICC

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Dubai, Mar 19 (UNI) Despite Australia's decision to postpone their tour of Pakistan, the International Cricket Council(ICC) has decided that the Champions trophy will go ahead as planned from September 11-28 in three venues across the country.

The decision was taken here yesterday in the ICC's board meeting.

The venues will be finalised after an ICC delegation will visit Pakistan in June to look at security and other arrangements for the tournament.

Meanwhile, the ICC has also confirmed Sri Lanka as an alternate venue to host the ICC Champions Trophy. This decision comes in the wake of Australia postponing their tour to Pakistan on the grounds of security reasons.

If Australia's apprehensions about the security situation in Pakistan don't change in the next few months, the ICC could be faced with a situation where they will have to decide on switching venues.

Australia and New Zealand have raised the most concerns, sources said.

''We have named Sri Lanka an alternative venue, ''an ICC spokesperson told Cricinfo. ''As of now, Pakistan will host the tournament and we don't intend to take it away from them.'' Sri Lanka last hosted the tournament in 2002 and the ICC expressed satisfaction with regard to all the arrangements and support they received from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

Australia were due to visit Pakistan later this month, but decided to put the tour on hold after a series of bombings in the country.

The Champions Trophy is set to take place in September and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) believes that the world champions will fulfil their obligations.

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