Monday, September 8, 2008

Champions Trophy faces scheduling crunch

Australia, the holders of the Champions Trophy, are scheduled to play an ODI series in India during the period when the tournament is to be held.

The ICC may find it extremely tough to hold the Champions Trophy in October 2009 after it emerged that India and Australia are planning to proceed with a seven-ODI series scheduled to start on October 13 next year.

With the dates for the Champions Twenty20 League in 2009 - September 25 to October 10 - also decided, a BCCI official told Cricinfo they hoped to work out a schedule for the Champions Trophy at a meeting in Dubai this week.

"The first game of the ODI series against Australia will start on October 13, but we will also help in working out a solution for the Champions Trophy," Niranjan Shah, the BCCI secretary, told Cricinfo. He said the dates haven't yet been formalised by both the boards but that will be done after the chief executives' committee meets in Dubai later this week.

However, the ICC remains confident the Champions Trophy, which was postponed from September this year to October 2009 after a few participating countries expressed security fears about Pakistan, can be held within the framework of the ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP).

"We have a chief executives' committee meeting in Dubai this week where we will discuss the calendar," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, told reporters in New Delhi on Monday. "There is an existing framework for the FTP and we will work under that."

The ICC had earlier stated that while Pakistan would be given "first preference" to host the Champions Trophy, a decision on the venue may be taken only after a security assessment of the country is done around February next year following the visit of the Indian team.