Perth: Citing lingering security problems, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday withdrew the hosting rights of the Champions Trophy from Pakistan.
The ICC, after its two-day Board meeting, said conditions were unsuitable for hosting the prestigious event in the trouble-torn country but Pakistan would still receive hosting revenue.
The new venue will be decided before the next ICC Board meeting in April.
The Champions Trophy had been postponed from 2008 to September 2009 due to security concerns held by several teams.
“The (ICC) Board accepted that, with several members expressing reservations about touring Pakistan, it would be prudent to relocate the event, scheduled for September-October, from that country,” the ICC said.
“In view of the challenges facing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) which are out of its control, the (ICC) Board agreed that, irrespective of the location of the event, Pakistan would retain the revenue due for hosting the tournament,” it added.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said “in the course of next month the (ICC) Board will decide finally where the new venue would be.”
Lorgat said India’s cancellation of its team’s proposed tour to Pakistan carried weight to other member boards which had earlier shown reluctance to play in Pakistan due to security concerns.
“We all know what is transpiring in Pakistan and India has now got a government directive not to tour, which adds some weight to countries who had previously indicated they were not keen to tour Pakistan,” he said at a press conference after the two-day ICC Board meeting.
“It is unfortunate ICC Champions Trophy will not take place in Pakistan due to circumstances completely beyond the control of the PCB. However, the (ICC) Board has accepted the need for certainty in planning for and delivering a world-class event and will now assess where the event should be held,“ Lorgat said.
“The alternate nominee is Sri Lanka. There are just a few things we want to iron out before we confirm that particular as the alternate host,” he added.
Lorgat said the ICC was committed to helping the PCB organise future cricket tours, with the country struggling to attract foreign teams.
Pakistan went through 2008 without playing a Test match as teams refused to tour the country, citing security fears.
The ICC Board also offered to form a task team to visit Pakistan and work with the PCB to find ways to ensure that, wherever possible, international cricket is played in the country in the future.
PCB chairman Ejaz Butt was among those who attended the meeting, besides ICC president David Morgan, vice-president Sharad Pawar, chief executive Lorgat, principal advisor I.S. Bindra and other chiefs of member boards.
The ICC Board also decided that the 2010 World Twenty20 Championship would be held in the West Indies. The women’s World Twenty20 event would also take place simultaneously at same venues, just like the 2009 event in England.