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Champions Trophy

ICC confident all teams will travel to Pakistan for 2025 Champions Trophy



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|| CF DESK ||

The International Cricket Council says India's participation in the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan is a "difficult" issue, but it is sure that all countries would travel to Pakistan for the tournament.

Since an attack by Islamist extremists on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009, which killed six policemen and two civilians, international forces have mostly avoided Pakistan.

The 50-over tournament will be the first ICC event hosted by Pakistan since it shared the 1996 World Cup with India and Sri Lanka and last week's announcement came as a big boost after England and New Zealand pulled out of tours there in September.

Asked if the ICC was confident teams would travel to Pakistan, chairman Greg Barclay told reporters on Monday: "From what we can see, absolutely.

"We wouldn't have awarded the event if we didn't think Pakistan was capable of hosting it. I'm sure, as with all countries, they will put together appropriate security plans to deliver the event. We're comfortable and confident it will go ahead."

There were fears that New Zealand and England's decisions might dampen the possibilities of international cricket in Pakistan once more, but Australia announced this month that they would tour Pakistan next year for the first time since 1998.

The prospects of India travelling to Pakistan for the first time since the 2008 Asia Cup remain unclear, however.

Anurag Thakur, India's sports minister and former cricket board chief, told reporters last week security was the main concern and that the government would make the call when the time comes.

India hosted Pakistan in a bilateral series in 2013 but the bitter neighbours rarely meet outside global tournaments these days. Pakistan played in India at the 2011 World Cup as well as the T20 World Cup in 2016.