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ICC event moved to South Africa

Plenty of work is to be done, but South Africa's cricket authorities are confident of staging a successful Champions Trophy later this year.

PRETORIA // Plenty of work is to be done, but South Africa's cricket authorities are confident of staging a successful Champions Trophy later this year. The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday put them forward to replace the original hosts Pakistan when the replacements Sri Lanka pulled out. Cricket South Africa (CSA) will first need a financial plan from the ICC and will also have to follow government protocol to stage the 50-over event.

But their chief executive Gerald Majola said they would do a good job as hosts. "If the finances and protocol are right and our board agree to accept the invitation, then we have the infrastructure and the expertise from recently hosting two ICC world championships [the 50-over World Cup in 2003 and the Twenty20 World Championships in 2007] to stage a successful tournament at short notice," Majola said yesterday.

"It is a 12-day tournament that will require two venues which is within our capabilities," Majola added. South Africa were put forward as hosts by the ICC chief executives' committee when Sri Lanka confirmed they could not stand in as replacements for Pakistan, who were originally due to host the tournament before being dropped on security grounds. Sri Lanka could not offer weather guarantees for the Sept 24-Oct 5 event.

The chief executives' committee are all set to make the recommendation to the ICC board meeting in Dubai on March 16. * PA Sport

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