ICC proposes South Africa as new venue for Champions Trophy

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 11, 2009 16:58 hrs

Dubai: The International Cricket Council's Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) on Wednesday recommended that the Champions Trophy be held in South Africa and not Sri Lanka as rainfall could affect the tournament to be held during September-October this year.

The Champions Trophy was supposed to held in Pakistan last year but was postponed to 2009 over security fears raised by certain teams.

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Sri Lanka was thought of as an alternate venue but the Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) could not guarantee there would be no rain in Colombo during the September 24-October 5 tournament.

Thus, the CEC met via teleconference on Wednesday and suggested South Africa as the alternate venue provided the country's cricket board agrees to financial arrangements.

The recommendation would be sent to the ICC Board, which will take a final call during a teleconference on March 16.

"During the meeting, SLC said it could not guarantee there would be no rain in Colombo during the dates set aside for the tournament, September 24 to October 5, 2009," according to a statement in the ICC website.

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"On that basis, and with the need to minimise risk and create certainty around the event, the meeting agreed to recommend that Cricket South Africa be sought as the alternative host, subject to agreement over financial arrangements."

"The CEC agreed the need to do everything possible to ensure this year's ICC Champions Trophy is a successful event," ICC chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat said.

"It was felt that it would be too great a risk to stage the tournament in Colombo at a time of year when there was a distinct possibility of rain.

"This was especially relevant given the length of this year's ICC Champions Trophy has been reduced to 12 days, part of our desire to make it a short, sharp event, as on that basis there would be no room for reserve days," he said.

The successful hosting of the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship in 2007 swayed things in South Africa's favour.

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"South Africa was a successful and excellent host of the ICC World Twenty20 at much the same time of year two years ago and the weather pattern in the area around Johannesburg in September and October is stable and ideal for cricket.’’

"The meeting therefore agreed it would be prudent to look to hold the tournament in South Africa, subject to agreement over financial arrangements," said Lorgat.

The CEC also suggested that the Twenty20 World Championship in West Indies be held from April 30 to May 16.

The tournament will be held in St Lucia, Guyana, Barbados and St Kitts.

The CEC comprises chief executives of the 10 full members nations and three associate members of the ICC.

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