ICC decides to drop Pindi stadium as one of the venues for CT

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Lahore, Aug 9 (UNI) The Interantional Cricket Council (ICC) and PCB has decided that the Rawalpindi stadium will be axed as the third venue for the Champions Trophy scheduled to be held next month due to the digging of the pitch and security problems.

Now the 15 matches of the biennial tournament will be held in Lahore and Karachi.

''Lahore is likely to host eight games including the final while Karachi will host seven matches and the ICC and PCB are working on the revised schedule for the tournament,'' disclosed a source close to PCB yesterday.

According to the PCB sources, due to the slow pace of the construction work, it has been more or less confirmed that the matches of the tournament will be held in the other two cities.

''Not only was the pace of construction slow at the stadium but the ICC security consultants also raised some issues with the location of the venue which could cause security problems in view of the fact that it is in the middle of a clustered residential and commercial area,'' the source said.

''The security consultants also noted the close proximity of the city to areas where the security forces are engaged in a battle with militants and also the recent spate of bomb attacks in Islamabad and Pindi,'' the source added.

Rawalpindi stadium was digged out 12 days ago. The decision of digging out the Pindii stadium had diminished the chances of holding the five matches at the stadium.

However, the source said a definite announcement about dropping the Pindi stadium as a venue would be made after the visit of the ICC task force to Pakistan from Aug 10 to 12.

''The ICC has to be handed over the stadium at least two to three weeks before the tournament so that their curator can start preparing the pitches while their broadcasters and sponsors can start installing their products and technology,'' the source said.

''Although the company carrying out the construction work at the stadium says it would be 80 per cent complete by August 20, the PCB feels this might not be possible.'' He also said the ICC chief curator Andy Atkinson has been told to start preparing five pitches each at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore and National Stadium in Karachi.

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