South Africa to host 2009 Cricket Champions Trophy

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday officially named South Africa as the new hosts of the biennial Champions Trophy this year.

South Africa was recommended last week by cricket’s governing body in the wake of incidents in Pakistan which have effectively put hosting cricket matches in that country off the agenda.

The elite eight-nation event was moved out of Pakistan after South Africa refused to tour Pakistan, while Australia, England and New Zealand also voiced concerns over touring the troubled country.

In addition, the March 3 attack in Lahore on the Sri Lankan team bus has further set back any chance of Pakistan hosting an event in the near future.

A statement by the ICC said: “With the need to minimise risk and create certainty around the event, the meeting agreed to recommend that CSA (Cricket South Africa) 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.” Also vying for the event had been venues in Australia, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.

“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,” said the ICC.

Australia will defend the title they won in India in 2006. England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies are the other competing teams.


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