"'Cricket mafia' blamed for depriving Pak from hosting CT next year"

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Islamabad, Oct 15 : Some member countries in the ICC (International Cricket Council), dubbed as "cricket mafia", are reportedly lobbying to deprive Pakistan from hosting the ICC Championship Trophy next year, by making changes in the format of the Champions Trophy and permanently holding the tournament in Dubai.

According to sources, these member countries are of the opinion that the tournament must be held in Dubai only, and instead of the present rotation policy.

"Some of the member countries have openly started talking on making changes in the format of the Champions Trophy and favour the idea to host the prestigious event in one place instead of adopting a rotation policy," The News quoted an ICC source as saying.

He added: "The newly raised Dubai Sports City has started making moves to convince member countries to get the hosting rights of the Champions Trophy on a permanent basis. Some of the members who favoured the idea say that like Wimbledon and the US Open (in tennis), the prestigious cricket event should also be staged at one place and there is no better place than the newly raised Dubai Sports City."

The new direction on the ICC Champions Trophy is in a sharp contrast to what the members had adopted during the September 11 meeting held at the same venue, at which it was unanimously decided that Pakistan had got every right to host the Champions Trophy in September-October 2009.

During that meeting, the ICC members were fully convinced that Pakistan had every right to host the Champions Trophy. "It was decided in that meeting that a security team would visit Pakistan at the conclusion of the India team's tour to Pakistan in March 2009. It would be after judging the security measures in Pakistan that the final decision on the Trophy would be made. All members were convinced during that meeting that no decision should be taken till the ICC security team visits Pakistan in March 2009," said the ICC source.

According to him, the same 'cricket mafia' was not in favour disturbing the 90-million-dollar Champions League to be held in India in October next year and at the same time change the format of the Champions Trophy, making Dubai Sports City the permanent venue for the event.

ANI

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