The South African board says it's ready to host the Champions Trophy in case the tournament is shifted out of Pakistan due to security reasons, while clarifying that the ICC hasn't put them on standby.
"If requested by the ICC, and we agree on the terms and conditions of hosting the tournament, we will," Gerald Majola, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa, told the Sydney Morning Herald. "ICC host agreements are very onerous, so you don't want to accept certain terms if you don't have time to do everything they ask for. We have to sit down with them and go through everything, and negotiate new terms."
Majola was optimistic that South Africa could deal with a short time frame to prepare to host the tournament, which is slated to begin on September 11. "We have only one or two months to prepare, but we have the ability to do it," he said. "I can't say we are applying for it, we're not. We would just be helping the ICC in the event of not being able to host it [in Pakistan]. We will wait for the ICC to approach us."
Sri Lanka are also ready to be an alternate host. "The venues are ready because we are going to stage the Indian tour as well here, it is just a matter of putting things together," Duleep Mendis, the chief executive of Cricket Sri Lanka, said. "ICC will give sufficient time, if by some chance things are not going to happen in Pakistan."
The ICC is waiting for an independent security report expected next week before taking any action on the matter, while the Australian, New Zealand and England boards will be briefed by Reg Dickason, a consultant with Cricket Australia, after he completes his inspections of the three venues - Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi.
Meanwhile, CA chairman Creagh O'Connor, who has returned to Adelaide after travelling to Karachi as a chief guest during the recently concluded Asia Cup, said he would not "force a player to go anywhere if he has a legitimate reason not to do so".