Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Morgan concerned teams yet to confirm participation

Morgan: "I don't think there is any talk of postponement at this stage".

David Morgan, the ICC president, says he is "concerned" over the fact that, with the Champions Trophy "perilously close", some of the participating teams are yet to confirm their presence in Pakistan for the tournament starting on September 12.

"It's a concern that we haven't yet had confirmation from all eight countries that they are prepared to go to Pakistan," Morgan, in Beijing to attend the Olympic Games, told AFP.

"Haroon Lorgat (the ICC chief executive) is in the UK currently, meeting the board of ECB today. He is due in South Africa at the end of the week. The scheduled start time for the tournament is perilously close so, of course, I am concerned," Morgan, a former ECB chairman, said.

Morgan heads the ICC's task force, which has sent its representatives to countries, including Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa, who have reservations about the security of their players in Pakistan. Lorgat, who is heading the ICC team, has already met with players and officials in New Zealand, Australia and England.

If the ICC fails to convince the teams to participate, they may have to shift the tournament to Sri Lanka, the official alternate venue. Duleep Mendis, the chief executive of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), told Cricinfo that they have been put on standby by the ICC and are in dialogue with the governing body on the issue.

"The ICC has put us on standby, and we have been having a continuous dialogue with them on this," Mendis said. "But I don't think there is any talk of postponement at this stage, and I believe the tournament is going to take place as scheduled in Pakistan."

Mendis said that SLC is prepared to host the event at short notice, and added that the venues were "upto standard" given the fact that the Indian team is currently in Sri Lanka for a one-day series that followed a three-Test series. "We are the official alternate venue, and if there is any hitch in the original venue, we are ready."