'CT would have split cricket world'

The cricket world would have been split into two had the ICC shifted the Champions Trophy out of Pakistan, a PCB official revealed.

updated: August 03, 2008 13:02 IST
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The world of cricket would have been split into two had the ICC shifted the Champions Trophy out of Pakistan, PCB CEO Shafqat Naghmi revealed on Wednesday.

Naghmi said the danger of divide was now over because of the "wise decision" taken by the ICC members.

"There was a danger about a few days ago but I think all the cricketing nations took a very wise decision and decided they must not create a divide in the cricket world," he said.

"There was a risk of having a first world and third world of cricket," he added.

Naghmi said all the countries had taken a very wise decision to allow Pakistan to host the tournament awarded to them two years ago.

Australian vice captain, Michael Clarke expressed fears of the world of cricket splitting if some teams and players decided not to play in Pakistan because of security concerns.

Cricket Australia has said while Pakistan cricket needed to be supported it had to ensure the safety and security of players first before allowing them to travel to Pakistan.

The Federation of international cricketers association (FICA) has been the most vocal critic of the ICC's decision to keep the eight-nation tournament in Pakistan.

FICA chief executive, Tim May is scheduled to visit Pakistan with the ICC's special task force formed by the executive board to work with the PCB and security experts to ensure that it is safe and smooth to have the Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

Naghmi welcomed May's decision to visit Pakistan with an open mind saying this would allow the board to try to play down fears of the players associations.

"We will show him all the top class arrangements we are making for the event."