ACA reluctant to send players to Pakistan for CT

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Lahore, Jul 23 (UNI) Stating that security consultants hired by the ICC and CA are still unconvinced about the safety of players in Pakistan, the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) today asserted that conditions are not favourable to host the biennial event in a successful manner.

''There is a credible threat in all the major cities in Pakistan, including those which are hosting the event, and they expect bombing in the coming weeks. So it's what we are concerned about,'' ACA CEO Paul Marsh told the Geo News channel.

However, the International Cricket Council (ICC) will hold a teleconference of their executive board tomorrow to decide whether or not to move the Champions Trophy out of Pakistan.

The volatile security situation in the country had prompted players from Australia, England and New Zealand to voice concerns about the Champions Trophy which due to start from September 11.

Three cities - Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi - are scheduled to host the Champions Trophy games.

Marsh said the report submitted by consultant Reg Dickason indicated that security during a majority of the recent Asia Cup held in Karachi was not up to the mark, apart from the final, when President Pervez Musharaf was the chief guest.

''The arrangements for the final were accepted as a good job,'' he added.

''But there were number of key issues identified and our job is to make sure that what we put to our players is a safe environment and we are not convinced of what we have seen which is available here.'' Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf said he was in touch with all the participating countries and was trying to convince them that security measures taken for the tournament were of state level and very tight.

''We just hope the ICC makes the right decision and at the moment, we are confident we will be able to host the event on schedule,'' he said.

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