No change in ICC Champions Trophy 2025 Venue, Pakistan signs hosting rights agreement with ICC
Associated Press

No change in ICC Champions Trophy 2025 Venue, Pakistan signs hosting rights agreement with ICC: In an important development, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has signed the hosting rights agreement of the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy 2024 with the International Cricket Council (ICC), the cricket board announced on Friday.

The agreement was signed by PCB chief Zaka Ashraf at the ICC headquarters located in Dubai. ICC General Counsel Jonathan Hall was present during the signing of the documents.

Notably, a few weeks ago reports circulated all over the internet relating to the shift in the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 venues. It was rumoured that due to looming security issues in Pakistan, the ICC could shift the tournament to a neutral country.

“Chairman PCB Management Committee Mr Zaka Ashraf was joined by ICC General Counsel Jonathan Hall in the signing of the hosting rights to Pakistan at the ICC headquarters,” the PCB said in a statement.

The cricket board has already started preparations for the mega ICC event scheduled to be held in 2025. The Pakistani government has also been informed about the development and necessary steps are being taken to boost the security parameters.

“The PCB in its capacity has already intimated the government to provide foolproof security to visiting international teams for the Champions Trophy. Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar in a recent meeting with Chairman PCB Management Committee assured the security agencies’ cooperation in the successful hosting of the ICC Champions Trophy 2025.”

Pakistan last hosted an ICC event back in 1996 which was won by Sri Lanka. The country was also set to host the Champions Trophy in 2009 and a couple of matches of the World Cup in 2011, however, ICC withdrew the hosting rights from Pakistan following a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team’s Bus in Lahore in 2009.

Although Pakistan has signed the hosting agreement with the ICC, it remains to be seen whether the BCCI will allow its players to participate in the event, which seems highly unlikely. The Indian government has held its stance of cutting down all sorts of engagement with Pakistan should the country continue to exercise cross-border terrorism.

The Asia Cup 2023, which was to be hosted by Pakistan in September, was shifted into a hybrid model due to BCCI’s reluctance to travel to Pakistan for the tournament. Consequently, a few matches of the tournament were held in Pakistan, and the remaining games, including Team India’s matches, were shifted to Sri Lanka.

A similar approach could be adopted for the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 if India refuses to travel to Pakistan.

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For more details head to ICC’s official website.