Monday 25 August 2008 

Australia And New Zealand Welcome Trophy Decision

Cricket authorities in Australia and New Zealand have welcomed the decision taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to postpone the Champions Trophy for 13 months.

The tournament, scheduled for September in Pakistan, has now been provisionally allocated a date of October 2009 after ICC board members unanimously agreed to postpone the tournament.

South Africa had already withdrawn from the tournament citing security and safety issues in Pakistan, where a spate of suicide bombings in recent months has raised serious concerns for cricket authorities, despite the smooth running of the Asia Cup earlier this year.

New Zealand and Australia's players' associations had advised their players not to travel, and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Justin Vaughan said he was relieved at the decision.

"It's disappointing to have to postpone the tournament but in the end it was a rigorous process that was followed and in the end the security advice around Pakistan has just been too tough to overcome," he told Radio Sport in New Zealand.

The decision by the ICC meant a decision to withdraw from the tournament or go ahead was taken out of NZC's hands.

"We wanted to see the process run its course and in the end we didn't have to make a call," he said.

"The weight of opinion from around the world meant that it was an obvious choice.

"You couldn't hold a good world event in Pakistan at the moment. The right decision has been made and everyone's pretty comfortable with it."

Cricket Australia (CA) spokesman Peter Young told The Australian that his organisation was also relieved after the decision.

"It's a sensible decision in the circumstances," Young said after revealing that CA had informed the ICC that they would not travel to Pakistan some months ago.

© Cricket World 2008