Monday, August 18, 2008

ECB to take decision on participation on Tuesday

David Collier, the chief executive of the ECB, will report back to the board on the issue after Haroon Lorgat's briefing on Sunday.

The ECB is expected to arrive at a decision on England's participation in the Champions Trophy after the board meets on Tuesday. David Collier, the ECB's chief executive, who was present at the briefing by the ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat on Sunday evening on the security measures in place for the tournament, is expected to report back to the board on the issue.

Hugh Morris, managing director of the England team and the entire squad were also present at the two-hour-long session along with representatives from the ICC's security consultants Nicholls Steyn & Associates.

The meeting provided an opportunity for all the players to ask whatever questions they had about the tournament. "The players have had a constructive discussion on the issue with members of the ICC task force. We have got some more meetings to go through and we need to get all the information we can get on the situation before a final decision is taken," an ECB spokesperson told Cricinfo.

"The players made their views known [to Lorgat] and they will [stick together]," Sean Morris, the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, told the Times confirming the developments.

Lorgat had travelled to Edinburgh, where England play Scotland on Monday, to meet with the players and officials. Similar meetings have already taken place in Australia and New Zealand with Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager of cricket, aiming to calm concerns ahead of the Champions Trophy, which is due to start on September 12.

It has already been reduced to a two-venue event with Rawalpindi being dropped from the grounds to be used. However, recent bomb blasts in Lahore have only added to the unease that some countries are feeling about travelling to Pakistan.

"The idea for us is to try and get it cleared up," Peter Moores, the England coach, told the Press Association ahead of the meeting. "It's a chance to listen to Haroon Lorgat about what the situation is so all the players are fully informed knowing that the board are then going to meet on Tuesday and make a decision on whether we're going or not.

"We want to listen to what Haroon has to say, the key being that if an England team is going there it's got to be safe for them to go otherwise we're not going to go."

Graeme Swann is the one England player to have spoken recently about the issue, saying that he will go along with what the security briefings say. "In Sri Lanka last year there were bombs going off while we were there," he said. "But you did not feel threatened by it - because you have got the security detail, and the army give you escorts. I'd certainly trust what [ICC security expert] Reg Dickason says - after spending some time with him - so I'll have to wait and see what he says."

Before being named captain Kevin Pietersen expressed reservations about making the trip, but he hasn't discussed the topic since taking up his new position.

After the England meeting, Lorgat is also expected to talk with the South Africa team later in the week for similar discussions.