'Lahore, Karachi was supposed to host CT, not Rawalpindi'

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Lahore, Sep 22 (UNI) The Marriott hotel in Islamabad, which was hit by a suicide bomber last Saturday, would have played host to the England and South Africa teams if the Champions Trophy had gone ahead as planned.

According to the Champions Trophy schedule, England and South Africa were due to play at the Pindi Stadium on September 21.

Teams playing at Rawalpindi are generally put up at the Marriott.

These questions are haunting the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and as Cricket Australia (CA) expressed sorrow over the latest terrorist bombing to hit Pakistan, a board official said Rawalpindi was scrapped as a venue for the Champions Trophy.

''As some of the countries expressed concern over Rawalpindi as one of the host cities, we decided to scrap the venue. The Champions Trophy was to be held only in Lahore and Karachi,'' the official said.

''The cities of Lahore and Karachi are much safer and that was why we had decided to host the Trophy matches in these two cities.

''Furthermore if at all the matches were scheduled to held in Rawalpindi, much tighter security would have been in place.

No truck would have been allowed to enter the area where the international teams were staying. And in that way we might have helped saving precious lives of innocent people,'' he added.

UNI XC CS AB DS1350

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