The International Cricket Council (ICC) has agreed to postpone the Champions Trophy to October 2009 after a teleconference between its members led to a unanimous agreement.
The tournament was scheduled to take place in Pakistan from September 12th to 28th but a spate of suicide bombings in the country has led to a number of teams to express their concerns over the security situation, South Africa withdrawing on Friday.
Australia won't be defending their title next month. ©
South Africa's withdrawal came after Australian and New Zealand players were advised not to travel by their respective players' associations and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) were expecting those two countries, as well as England, to withdraw.
The board will meet again in September to discuss the tournament again, with Pakistan retaining the rights to host it although the ICC may still decide to move the tournament elsewhere, particularly if participating countries continue to voice concerns over security.
ICC President David Morgan said: “There was complete support and sympathy for the Pakistan Cricket Board and the situation it finds itself in, which is not of its making.
“However, there was also a realisation that, under the current circumstances, some of the teams due to compete in the ICC Champions Trophy had reservations about touring there which could not be removed.
“In those circumstances it was considered prudent to postpone the event to October 2009, a time when we all hope conditions may be more acceptable for all the competing teams.
“It was agreed Pakistan would retain the right to host the event next year but that if, at a certain time, any Members still had reservations then the ICC’s Board would have the right to relocate the event.”
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “Every one of our Members wishes to ensure the ICC Champions Trophy is a world-class event and the prospect of relocating it at short notice in order to make sure it was played this year would not allow that criterion to be fulfilled.
“Today’s agreement provides clarity for our Members and in September we will look to put in place a timeframe for arrangements ahead of the event taking place in 2009.”
© Cricket World 2008