Monday, March 16, 2009

South Africa to host Champions Trophy

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday awarded the Champions Trophy to South Africa. The tournament will be held from Sept 24 to Oct 5 this year.The ICC Board met via teleconference to discuss a recommendation of the ICC Chief Executives' Committee on the issue last week.Sri Lanka offered to host the event but concerns were expressed over weather conditions in Colombo during the dates set aside for the tournament.The tournnament was originally scheduled for last year in Pakistan but was postponed and finally taken away from that country because of the volatile security situation there.The ICC said the Cricket South Africe (CSA) was given the hosting rights to minimise risk and create certainty around the event. Agreement on the financial arrangements can be reached as originally planned for Pakistan."I think the board has made a sensible decision that will give the event every chance of success. We now have clarity on the subject and we can make firm plans for what is going to be a great spectacle of ODI cricket," ICC President David Morgan said in a statement.Wanderers and Centurion have been identified as the two venues for the tournament."Cricket South Africa can provide two world-class venues in what is effectively one location and as we know from the ICC World Twenty20 2007, weather conditions in the area around Johannesburg in September and October are stable and ideal for cricket," Morgan said. "I would like to thank Sri Lanka Cricket for its commitment to offer an alternative to Pakistan. I'd also like to thank CSA for putting its hand up and offering to host this event." 

The teleconference also agreed that the dates for next year's ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies would be between April 30 to May 16.The tournament will take place in St. Lucia, Guyana, Barbados and St. Kitts with the latter island staging matches in the women's tournament that will take place at the same time.The duration of this year's ICC Champions Trophy has been reduced to a short, sharp 12 days as on that basis there would be no room for reserve days.ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said United Arab Emirates had also shown interest to host the Champions Trophy."I have no doubt Abu Dhabi and Dubai will be the scene for top-level international cricket in the future and I certainly would not rule out the possibility of an ICC event being hosted there at some stage."

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