x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Pakistan prepare for boycotts

The Pakistan Cricket Board fear they could lose the right to stage the Champions Trophy following recent bombings.

KARACHI // The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) fear they could lose the right to stage the Champions Trophy following recent bombings in Karachi and Islamabad. The tournament is scheduled to be held from Sept 11, but several players from Australia and New Zealand have revealed plans to boycott the tournament because of security concerns.

PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf appears confident the event will pass without incident. However, an unnamed official said the PCB believe the tournament could be shifted and are mentally gearing up to "swallow the bitter pill". He said: "It would be a huge setback for Pakistan cricket and I'm sure the ICC are aware of it. "We didn't leave a stone unturned. But if they still take away the Champions Trophy from here then it would be very unfair."

Sri Lanka are possible alternative hosts for the tournament, but South Africa too would be prepared to hold the event. "If requested by the ICC, and we agree on the terms and conditions of hosting the tournament, we will," said Gerald Majola, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa. "ICC host agreements are very onerous, so you don't want to accept certain terms if you don't have time to do everything they ask for," he added.

* PA Sport