Champions Trophy in major doubt

Cricket South Africa are expected to follow the lead set by Australia by pulling out of next month’s ICC Champions Trophy.

The Australian Cricketers’ Association has told its members not to travel to Pakistan for the ODI competition due to security concerns and it is now expected that South Africa, England and New Zealand will soon follow suit.

ACA chief Paul Marsh has said that he does not believe it would be safe to travel to Pakistan.

“The ACA has discussed the situation with its executive and our position is we can’t recommend to our players they should tour Pakistan for the Champions Trophy,” Marsh told The Australian newspaper.

“We feel for the Pakistan Cricket Board and the people of Pakistan but it is the job of the ACA to make recommendations to our members based on whether it is safe to tour. Unfortunately in this case we don’t believe it is safe.”

Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young said that a full decision would only made after an official ICC report from meetings with other countries including South Africa, England and New Zealand.

But according to English newspaper The Times, the boards and players of Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa are demanding the tournament be moved to Sri Lanka and expect the change to be announced within the next 48 hours.

The ICC will meet with members of Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Friday to discuss the tournament. A decision regarding South Africa’s involvement will be made after the meeting but the move made by the ACA has cast major doubt over the tournaments future.

Meanwhile, heavy rain in the past few days has resulted in the Twenty20 match due for today between the Proteas and England at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street being called off.