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ICC confirms SA as new host for Champions Trophy
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New Delhi, March 16: The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has unanimously agreed to host Champions Trophy 2009 in South Africa. Wanderers and Centurion were identified as preferred venues subject to conclusion of satisfactory commercial terms.

The Board met via teleconference to discuss a recommendation made by the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee on the same subject last week.

The decision was made after concerns were expressed over weather conditions in Colombo during the dates set aside for the tournament, 24 September to 5 October. This is especially relevant given that the length of this year’s ICC Champions Trophy has been reduced to a short, sharp 12 days as on that basis there would be no room for reserve days.

With the need to minimise risk and create certainty around the event, the meeting agreed to recommend that CSA be sought as the alternative host, with Wanderers and Centurion as the venues, provided agreement on the financial arrangements can be reached. Originally planned for Pakistan, the venue for the event had to be shifted due to security concerns.

ICC President David Morgan said: “I think the Board has made a sensible decision that will give the event every chance of success. We now have clarity on the subject and we can make firm plans for what is going to be a great spectacle of ODI cricket.

“With Wanderers and Centurion, Cricket South Africa can provide two world-class venues in what is effectively one location and as we know from the ICC World Twenty20 2007, weather conditions in the area around Johannesburg in September and October are stable and ideal for cricket.

“I would like to thank Sri Lanka Cricket for its commitment to offer an alternative to Pakistan. And also, I want to acknowledge its willingness to step aside in this matter. I’d also like to thank CSA for putting its hand up and offering to host this event.”

The Board also considered expressions of interest from other potential venues. However, in order to attain immediate certainty and clarity, South Africa was identified as the preferred location on this occasion.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “In particular, we looked at an impressive submission from the United Arab Emirates. Although not successful on this occasion, I have no doubt Abu Dhabi and Dubai will be the scene for top-level international cricket in the future and I certainly would not rule out the possibility of an ICC event being hosted there at some stage.”

The teleconference also unanimously agreed that the dates for next year’s ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies would be between 30 April and 16 May.

The tournament will take place in St Lucia, Guyana, Barbados and St Kitts with the latter island staging matches in the women’s tournament that will take place at the same time.

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