Hayden suggests scrapping Champions Trophy

haydenMatthew Hayden, the former Australia opener, has suggested scrapping the Champions Trophy and creating a two-month window for the IPL in order to revive spectator interest in the game.

“Playing the World Twenty20 every other year is too much,” Hayden wrote in his column in the Independent. “And why have the Champions Trophy when you’ve already got a 50-over World Cup?”

The Champions Trophy was postponed to September 2009 and shifted to South Africa after teams expressed security concerns about playing in Pakistan last year. The ICC has been trying to rebrand the tournament as a short two-week elite tournament played at just two venues – Wanderers and Johannesburg.

ICC chief suggests four-day Tests

vaughanDavid Morgan, the ICC president, has hinted that Test cricket may be reduced to four days to protect and enrich the game’s oldest format in the face of lucrative Twenty20 leagues like the IPL. The suggestion comes in the wake of a few other changes that are being mooted, including a two-tier format and day-night Tests to attract more crowds.

“Another thought that many people have, that we are examining is whether Test match cricket can be played over four days rather than five,” Morgan told the India Today magazine. “I would be very surprised if within a year you haven’t seen some significant changes in Test match cricket.”

Sri Lanka expected to host Champions Trophy

Sri Lanka is the ICC’s preferred venue for the Champions Trophy after it removed the tournament, which is scheduled for September and October, from Pakistan during its meeting in Perth. The safety and security situation in Pakistan was considered too risky and Haroon Lorgat, the ICC’s chief executive, expected a decision on the new host would be confirmed “shortly”.

“There are a couple of issues to work through in regard to the weather in Sri Lanka at that time of year,” Lorgat said in the West Australian. “The dates are confirmed and, given the heavy scheduling, there is no way they could be changed. There are no issues of safety and security there.”

Pakistan not to host 2009 Champions Trophy

The ICC has decided to move the postponed 2009 Champions Trophy out of Pakistan after several members expressed reservations about touring the troubled country on the second day of its board meeting in Perth. The location of the event, however, is yet to be finalised, but a decision is expected before the board’s next scheduled meeting in April.

“It is unfortunate the ICC Champions Trophy will not take place in Pakistan due to circumstances completely beyond the control of the PCB,” Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said. “However, the board has accepted the need for certainty in planning for and delivering a world-class event and will now assess where the event should be held.”

Pakistan Cricket Woes Continue

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat has put a fly in the newly composed ointment by the Pakistan Cricket Board. With much ado and persuation and the pleadings, the board of Pakistan cricket compelled Sri Lanka to come and play cricket in Pakistan, as Pakistan has become pariah as far as cricket is concerned. The International Cricket Council (ICC) will not appoint match officials for Sri Lanka’s proposed tour of Pakistan until a security assessment had been made, and it is declared by the Logart.

The ICC postponed the Champions Trophy one-day tournament in Pakistan in September over security concerns — the same reason given by Australia for not playing a Test series there last March.

IPL transfer window postponed by a week

The IPL transfer window, which was scheduled to begin on December 15, has been postponed by a week after the Mumbai terrorist attacks disrupted preparations for the event. The IPL officials will meet some time this week to prepare the rules for the transfers which will now take place from December 22 to January 22.

The terror strikes in Mumbai on November 26 forced organisers to postpone the Champions Twenty20 League that was to kick off on December 3, with Mumbai as one of the three venues.

PCB brings in British expert to fix insurance problem

PCB officials will be meeting a British insurance risk expert in an effort to maximise the returns on its insurance investments. The board has, despite insurance cover, suffered huge losses from recent security-related incidents and there is an official inquiry into an alleged insurance scam involving Australia’s postponed tour of Pakistan in February-March this year.

Saleem Altaf, the PCB’s chief operating officer said the expert, David Boorman, will meet key board officials during his short visit, due to begin today. “It’s a free-of-cost exercise aimed at getting expert advice on how we can maximise our interests when it comes to insurance,” he told the News.

India tour on schedule – PCB

Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, has assured Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan board chairman, that India will go ahead with their tour of Pakistan in January next year, the PCB said. Pakistan’s status as an international venue has been affected of late by security issues which led to the postponement of the Champions Trophy in September.

According to the PCB, Manohar informed Butt that he had written to the Indian government for security clearance and expected a reply in 10 to 12 days. Manohar confirmed to Cricinfo that he had received a call from the PCB chairman on Wednesday but declined to comment further.

PCB willing to shift India series

Pakistan will be willing to host their eagerly-awaited home series against India at offshore venues in a ‘worst-case scenario’, a top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said on Thursday.

Saleem Altaf, PCB’s chief operating officer, said that the series could be shifted to neutral venues like Abu Dhabi if India decided against sending their team to Pakistan for the January 4-February 19 series because of security concerns.

“In a worst-case scenario, if India has its reservations (to tour Pakistan), we can consider playing at a neutral venue,” said the former Pakistan Test pacer.

Abu Dhabi offers to host India-Pakistan series

The Abu Dhabi Cricket Council has offered to step in as host for Pakistan’s home series against India scheduled early next year, if concerns over security in Pakistan persisted. Dilawar Mani, the council’s chief executive, said the council was ready to stage the matches if the situation arose.

His statement comes in the wake of the Indian Government recently calling off its five-match junior hockey series away to Pakistan at the eleventh hour citing security concerns. The 2008 Champions Trophy originally scheduled to be held in Pakistan this September, was also deferred to September-October 2009 after a number of participating teams refused to visit the country due to similar reasons.