LAHORE: Pakistan moved a step closer to holding the ICC Champions Trophy on Friday when the Pakistan Cricket Board signed the hosting rights agreement with the International Cricket Council.

There had been doubts whether Pakistan will stay as the host country for the Champions Trophy after India had forced the PCB into hosting most of the matches of September’s Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

But PCB chief Zaka signing the hosting agreement at the ICC headquarters is a step towards assuring Pakistan will stay on as hosts.

“PCB management committee chairman 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 news release.

The PCB in its capacity has already informed 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.“

Dawn has learnt that if there is a security threat, the ICC will be contractually bound to get it verified from the international security organisations and then ask the PCB for its reports.

There, however, is nothing in the agreement regarding India’s confirmed participation at the tournament in Pakistan.

For the Asia Cup, the Board of Cricket Control in India said that it hadn’t received approval from its government to play in Pakistan.

BCCI’s influence over the Asian Cricket Council eventually saw Pakistan only host four matches of the tournament before the action shifted to Sri Lanka.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2023

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