Sri Lanka, Bangladesh silence disappoints Butt

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Lahore, Oct 21 (UNI) PCB chairman Ijaz Butt is disappointed that Sri Lanka and Bangladesh failed to speak up in support of Pakistan hosting next year's Champions Trophy at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) board meeting in Dubai last week.

''It was a big surprise to me when Sri Lanka and Bangladesh didn't speak a word when the issue was discussed during the meeting,'' Butt told mediapersons here yesterday. ''I was not expecting this from these two countries.'' The ICC retained Pakistan as the host of next year's tournament after postponing the biennial event in September because many teams were worried about security in Pakistan after a spate of bombings.

''After the meeting was over, officials from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh came to me and said 'we are with you', but I told them 'you didn't say this during the meeting','' the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman said. Butt said Zimbabwe, West Indies, India, South Africa and England openly supported Pakistan for hosting the Champions Trophy.

The ICC has said the tournament, scheduled for September 24-October 5, will be played in only one city and Butt tipped either Karachi or Lahore as the likely venue.

''The venue will be finalised after the home series against India in February,'' Butt said.

The ICC will assess the security situation in Pakistan if India plays Tests and One-day Internationals there early next year.

''The ICC agreed to reassess the security situation after we host India,'' he said.

Butt said he met with officials of BCCI on the sidelines of the ICC meeting and that they gave their assurance that next year's tour would go ahead.

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