BCCI backs Pakistan as Champions Trophy hosts

NEW DELHI Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:02pm IST

Australian players hold the ICC champions trophy during the award ceremony after Australia beat West Indies in the final match in Mumbai November 5, 2006. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Australian players hold the ICC champions trophy during the award ceremony after Australia beat West Indies in the final match in Mumbai November 5, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Indian cricket board wants Pakistan to remain as hosts for next month's Champions Trophy amid doubts over the competition's fate due to security concerns for some participating teams.

"We are fully supporting Pakistan," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Niranjan Shah told Reuters on Saturday, adding: "But we will have to wait and see."

The International Cricket Council (ICC) executive board are holding a teleconference on Sunday to decide whether the premier eight-team event from Sept. 12-28 will stay in Pakistan.

South Africa pulled out of the event on Friday and a senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told Reuters that England, Australia and New Zealand could follow suit, having raised concerns following a spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan.

India, Sri Lanka, West Indies and the hosts are the other four teams scheduled to compete.

Shah said it would be up to the PCB to discuss any other options if the ruling body chose not to stage the event in Pakistan.

Sri Lanka are the designated replacement hosts although ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat told Reuters on Tuesday it was now too late to switch the tournament.

Members of an ICC taskforce have briefed players and officials of the four teams reluctant to visit Pakistan on the security plans for the tournament.

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