Australia could decide within a fortnight whether to pull out of September's Champions Trophy in Pakistan. The recent bombings in Karachi and Islamabad have cast a shadow over the event but Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) chief executive Paul Marsh said a decision will not be made before it get reports from its security experts and the Federation of International Cricket Associations.
"They're compiling reports which we should have within the next two weeks," Marsh told Reuters. "Until you have all the information you can't make a final decision but the concern levels certainly rise whenever there are bombings."
Cricket Australia is expected to take a decision within two weeks,according to their spokesman Peter Young. Ricky Ponting, Australia's captain, had earlier said that several team members were concerned about visiting Pakistan and could skip the tournament even if security reports were positive.
However, the PCB is confident the ICC will back the country to host the tournament. "We know that the bombings have come at the wrong time," Shafqat Naghmi, the PCB's chief operating officer, told the Karachi-based News. "But we also know that this violence is not directed at any sports teams. We are confident that the ICC will continue backing us over the Champions Trophy because of our assurance to provide fool-proof security cover."
Earlier this week, Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said there would be no compromise on security and the tournament would be held in Pakistan only if experts give the go-ahead. "The ICC will not compromise the safety and security of any individual at one of its tournaments and if it is not appropriate to play in any country then we will not do so.
"Our security consultants have been working with the Pakistan authorities during the Asia Cup, assessing security, and will report back as soon as possible with their views," he said. "At this stage we are working towards the ICC Champions Trophy being held in Pakistan in September." During their meeting in Dubai last week, the ICC board and the chief executives' committee received a presentation from security consultants hired to oversee the situation and agreed upon a process to deal with any incidents that may occur in Pakistan between now and the end of the tournament. Sri Lanka is the alternate host for the Champions Trophy in September if a final security report indicates Pakistan is unsafe.