The tournament had been set for Lahore from 18-24 February, but Cricket South Africa will now host the eight-team tournament over the same dates.The decision to move the tournament was reached at following the widespread violence in the Asian country, with the ICC confirming the development on Tuesday, through a statement.Bermuda, Ireland, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, South Africa, and Zimbabwe will now fight-it-out for the two berths to the ICC Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia in 2009.”The decision was arrived at following independent security reports and extensive discussions by ICC management and the ICC Women’s Committee. The event will be staged in conjunction with Cricket South Africa and the Boland Cricket Union in the Stellenbosch district of the Western Cape over the same dates,” said an ICC statement on Tuesday. The tournament, which had originally been arranged to take place in Lahore last November, was postponed for security reasons until after the proposed election date of 8 January. But after the rescheduling of the elections to 18 February, the decision was made to move the event to South Africa. “It is unfortunate that the timing of the event ended up clashing with the elections and forcing us to change the venue. The safety of all participants is our number-one priority and on the basis of the independent advice we have received – as well as the material concerns expressed by many of the participating countries – we concluded it was not appropriate to stage the tournament at this time,” said ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed. According to the ICC, an independent security report has condemned Pakistan as unsafe, as violence has claimed at least 134 lives following the death of opposition politician Benazir Bhutto in a suicide attack on 27 December. Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe national cricket men’s team is going ahead with its tour of Pakistan, with the squad set to leave the country on 11 January.
The tour, which is expected to last until 8 February, had been thrown into doubt because of Bhutto’s death. But Zimbabwe Cricket president Peter Chingoka said at the weekend they are not chickening-out of the tour, insisting Zimbabwe would be fulfilling its obligations as demanded under the International Cricket Council Futures Tours programme. “The tour is going ahead as originally scheduled. We have an obligation under the ICC Futures Tours programme, which we are going to fulfill. We have always enjoyed a cordial relationship with the Pakistan Cricket Board, and we would want to maintain that relationship by making sure we adhere to the ICC rules and regulations as prescribed under the FTP,” said Chingoka- CAJ News.
South Africa to host ICC Women World Cup Qualifiers
HARARE, (Zimbabwe):-The International Cricket Council has moved to South Africa, the Women's World Cup qualifiers, which had been scheduled for Pakistan next month, due to security concerns.