ICC still undecided on venue for Champions Trophy

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Lahore, Aug 21 (UNI) The International Cricket Council (ICC) still looks to be at crossroads as it failed to take a decision on whether Pakistan will host the next month's Champions Trophy or not and referred the matter to its Executive Board.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shafqat Naghmi said yesterday's meeting held in Dubai, where it was being considered that a final call will be taken on the venue for the Champions Trophy, failed to draw any conclusion and the Executive Board will now take up the issue again August 24.

''We discussed the matter during the meeting but it did not turn out to be conclusive because of the absence of some of the members,'' Naghmi said.

However, Naghmi refrained from giving any more details, but it has been learnt that representatives of Cricket Australia, who were supposed to attend, could not make it to the meeting.

The BCCI president Sharad Pawar, Naghmi and the ICC president David Morgan had already the discussed the issue with other senior ICC officials yesterday before the meeting.

While the ICC wants that the Champions Trophy should be held in Pakistan as scheduled, players from Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa have expressed their reluctance to tour the strife-torn nation which has witnessed many acts of terror over the the last few months.

But Naghmi made it clear that the PCB will resist any attempt to shift the event from the Pakistan.

''In order to save the event we have invited reluctant countries to come and see for themselves the practical implementation of the security plan,'' he said.

Meanwhile, though the ICC has repeatedly declared Pakistan as a safe venue for the event, it also indicated that the tournament could be shifted to Sri Lanka.

But in a major development overnight, Australian newspapers reported that the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) had advised its players not to travel to Pakistan.

''The ACA has discussed the situation with its executive and our position is we can't recommend to our players they should tour Pakistan for the Champions Trophy,'' chief executive Paul Marsh was quoted as saying by The Australian.

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