x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Australia to decide in a fortnight

Security concerns may force Australian cricket officials to withdraw their team from the Champions Trophy.

Th Australia cricket team celebrate after their recent one-day international series victory over West Indies.
Th Australia cricket team celebrate after their recent one-day international series victory over West Indies.

BRISBANE // The Australian cricket officials have said that they could decide within a fortnight whether or not to pull out of the Champions Trophy because of security concerns. A bomb blast in the Pakistan capital of Islamabad killed 19 people on the night of the Asia Cup final between Sri Lanka and India in Karachi. The International Cricket Council (ICC) responded to the blast by threatening to move the Champions Trophy from Pakistan if there were any further threats of violence.

Australia, whose players have long held concerns about touring Pakistan, could preempt an ICC decision and withdraw from the tournament, which starts on Sept 11. Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Paul Marsh said the organisation was awaiting reports from a security expert and the Federation of International Cricket Associations. "They're compiling reports which we should have within the next two weeks," Marsh said.

"Until you have all the information you can't make a final decision but the concern levels certainly rise whenever there are bombings." * Reuters