ICC Champions Trophy date set

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- The International Cricket Council (ICC) has finalised the dates for the ICC Champions Trophy next year, following the postponement of the event from Pakistan in September 2008 owing to safety and security concerns. At its Board meeting in Dubai this week the ICC decided that next year's event will be staged from September 24 to October 5.

According to a media release from the ICC, the Board considered the options available to slot the Champions Trophy into the Future Tours Programme. It also received a presentation on the subject in the wake of work carried out by the Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat and ICC management, including input from ICC Full Members.

It was further agreed that because the event was reduced in duration (12 days including a reserve day for the final instead of the 17 days set aside in 2008) it would be played in one city. The ICC Board will make a final decision on the location of the event following India's tour to Pakistan in the first part of 2009 so that it can provide certainty to teams, broadcasters, commercial partners and other stakeholders.

 A full schedule and also the location for the matches will be announced in due course.

ICC President David Morgan said: "We are delighted to have slotted the ICC Champions Trophy into the FTP in 2009 thus maintaining the primacy of ICC events, and we now look forward to staging an outstanding, memorable event next September/October.

"The ICC Champions Trophy is part of a host of great ICC tournaments taking place next year, including the ICC Women's World Cup, the ICC World Cup Qualifier and the ICC World Twenty20 for both men and women.

"All these events during the ICC Centenary year will showcase cricket in the best possible light and will help to ensure that our great game remains a strong sport growing stronger."

 ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: "I'm hugely encouraged by the spirit of togetherness and teamwork shown by our Members in ensuring we have found a place for the ICC Champions Trophy in next year's calendar.

"The tournament, with its new format of the top eight teams playing in a short, sharp event, is vitally important for the world game because it allows those Members, as well as the developing cricket world, to grow the sport. It is part of the ICC's commitment to the game and we can now look forward to a great event next year."

The West Indies finished second in the last ICC Champions Trophy in India in 2006. They won in 2004 under Captain Brian Lara, when they defeated England in an epic final at the Oval in London.