The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed that South Africa will stage this year's Champions Trophy one-day tournament from Sept 24-Oct 5. The ICC executive board voted unanimously based on the recommendation made last week to shift the eight-team tournament from Sri Lanka because of worries of rain during the competition.
The ICC president David Morgan called it a "sensible decision" following months of uncertainty over where to stage the tournament. "We now have clarity on the subject and we can make firm plans," Mr Morgan said. The Wanderers in Johannesburg and Centurion, near Pretoria, were the likely venues to stage the event, confirmed Mr Morgan. "I'd also like to thank CSA (Cricket South Africa) for putting its hand up and offering to host this event," he added. South Africa jointly hosted the 2003 one-day World Cup with Zimbabwe and Kenya and the World Twenty20 in 2007. It is the second time the event has switched venues after it was originally scheduled to take place in Pakistan but was postponed last year and then switched due to security concerns. The decision will come as a blow to the cricket authorities of the UAE, who were hoping to stage the event, but the ICC's chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, gave praise to the Emirates' bid to stage the Champions Trophy, saying he believes Abu Dhabi and Dubai "will be the scene for top-level international cricket in the future." The ICC executive board - holding discussions in a global teleconference - also agreed to hold next year's World Twenty20 from April 30-May 16, 2010, in St Lucia, Guyana, Barbados and St. Kitts. No decision was made on whether to keep Pakistan as co-host for the 2011 World Cup following the ambush of the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore earlier this month.
firstname.lastname@example.org *With Agencies