ICC accepts Pakistan’s request for Champions Trophy 2025: Report

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has granted approval to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) by accepting their request to prevent countries from using security concerns as a justification for abstaining from participation in the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan. This decision comes after objections were raised by the previous management committee, citing ICC documents, which led to consultations with senior lawyers.

Despite the visit of ICC Chairman Greg Barclay and CEO Geoff Allardice to Pakistan in May, the issue lingered until now. Pakistan’s position involved seeking an evaluation from an independent security agency if any country cited security reasons for not sending a team.

While the current plan revolves around hosting matches within Pakistan, concerns arise regarding the potential reluctance of the Indian government to permit the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to send the Indian team to Pakistan. In the event of India deciding against sending their team, there is a possibility of relocating some matches to the UAE, with the ICC covering additional expenses and potential adjustments to the tournament format.

Zaka Ashraf, the head of the PCB management committee, met with Khalid Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board, although the Champions Trophy was not specifically discussed. Despite this, the UAE has expressed its cooperation with Pakistan.

Although the ICC had previously awarded hosting rights to Pakistan, the formal agreement was signed in Dubai after a prolonged deadlock. Zaka Ashraf, accompanied by ICC General Counsel Jonathan Hall, signed the agreement at the ICC headquarters. The PCB has informed the government about the need for robust security measures for visiting teams. Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, in a recent meeting, assured cooperation from security agencies to ensure the successful hosting of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2025. These developments underscore the intricate nature of international cricket events, weaving together sports, security, and diplomatic considerations.

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