Will Champions Trophy remain in Pakistan?

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Lahore, Aug 29 (UNI) The ''final call'' whether to organise the Champions Trophy in Pakistan or not will be taken when the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Executive Board meets in March next year.

With the uncertainity of cricketers to play in Pakistan because of security reasons, the ICC on August 24 postponed the tournament from next month until October 2009.

''March is the deadline for confirming the venue of the tournament, which was to be held in Pakistan from September 12 but has been postponed due to the security concerns raised by some teams,'' sources close to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said.

''The ICC is having a meeting on September 11 and 12 to decide the best dates for the tournament when it is held next year. But the final decision on whether it will remain in Pakistan will be taken in March,'' a source informed.

He said if some countries still shows reluctance to play the eight nation tournament in Pakistan next year, the ICC will then relocate the event to some other country, but the strife-torn nation will get a compensation of three million dollar, which is the hosting fees of the event.

There are specualtions that if the tournament is relocated, the venue of the event can possibly be shifted to Sri Lanka.

''The ICC member countries have basically decided to wait and see if the situation changes in Pakistan in the next six months and if this happens then the Champions Trophy would remain with us,'' the source said.

The ICC has also asked its member countries to send in suggestions for making slight changes in the Future Tours Program to fix new dates for the Champions Trophy.

''There will be some changes in the FTP as the Champions Trophy, wherever it is held will take three weeks for which all teams must be available,'' the source said.

He also said, ''we and India threatened to boycott the event if any hasty decision was made, after which it was decided to adopt a wait and see policy until next march,'' the source stated, adding that the Indian team's tour to Pakistan from early January will be used to assess the security situation in Pakistan.

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