After handing over the hosting of the 2025 Champions Trophy to Pakistan, the ICC (International Cricket Council) is confident that the teams will no longer face any trouble for this global tournament despite objections to playing there for more than a decade.
The ICC last week gave Pakistan the right to host the 2025 Champions Trophy. This would mark the return of the big tournament in Pakistan after more than two decades. The last time Pakistan hosted an ICC tournament on its soil was the 1996 World Cup. India and Sri Lanka were also co-hosts in that World Cup.
Since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009, it has not been able to host many international teams in the country.
ICC President Greg Barclay said in response to a PTI-language question during the ‘Media Roundtable’, “The answer is yes, absolutely yes (the teams will travel) according to what we are seeing so far.”
Barkley said, “The ICC cricket event is returning to Pakistan after many years. All this has proceeded without any issue except what happened in the last few weeks.
In September this year, New Zealand and England withdrew from the bilateral series to be played on Pakistan due to security concerns.
Barkley insisted that the ICC would not have given the hosting rights to Pakistan if it felt that Pakistan would not be able to organize it successfully.
“If we had doubts about Pakistan’s hosting, we would not have given it the right to host it,” he said.
India’s participation in the tournament remains a doubt as no bilateral cricket has been held between the two neighboring countries since 2012 due to diplomatic tensions following the terror attacks in India.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had last week said that a decision on India’s participation in the Champions Trophy would be taken in due course as there are still security issues for international teams to tour the neighboring country.
Describing it as a challenging issue, Barkley expressed hope that the relationship between the two countries can be improved through cricket.