South Africa set to host Champions Trophy

South Africa should host this year’s Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka ruled out due to possible rain interruptions in September/October, an International Cricket Council (ICC) committee has recommended.

Pakistan was originally due to host the one-day international competition last year, but after several teams voiced security concerns about playing there, the ICC reacted by postponing the event before switching venues to Sri Lanka last month.

The ICC chief executives committee (CEC) recommendation will go before its executive board for a final decision on Monday, the ruling body said in a statement on Wednesday.

South Africa is set to be confirmed as the venue for the eight-team tournament scheduled from September 24 to October 5 if certain financial terms are agreed, the release said.

Sri Lanka Cricket told the meeting it could not guarantee clear weather in Colombo during the period. In 2002 the event was held around the same time in Colombo, and Sri Lanka and India were declared joint winners after rain marred the final.

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

“On that basis 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 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.

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

Security concerns have increased in South Asia after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore last week, injuring six players and killing seven Pakistanis.—Reuters


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