Pakistan look to host 2021 Champions Trophy

The Pakistan Cricket Board is making a serious attempt to win the hosting rights for the 2021 Champions Trophy after original hosts India’s position got weakened due to tax-related issues.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has raised concerns over the lack of tax exemption for the tournament in India, which it said was ‘standard practice’ for any premier sporting event of the magnitude of the Champions Trophy.

The world governing body had earlier issued a press release stating that alternate venues with similar time zones are being explored. While Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the obvious options, Pakistan have sensed an opportunity and are looking to ‘host’ matches in the UAE, with the option of playing a few games in Pakistan, according to a report in the Indian paper Ahmedabad Mirror.

According to the report, officials in the Pakistan establishment believe ICC will consider PCB’s offer “seriously”.

Pakistan is gearing up to host the final of the upcoming Pakistan Super League in Karachi along with two playoffs in Lahore.

International cricket in Pakistan was suspended after a 2009 militant attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore killed eight people and injured seven visiting players.

Pakistan’s national team has since played nearly all its home matches in the UAE. Authorities have been trying to bring international cricket back to Pakistan with improved security environment.

The final of the PSL last year was played in Lahore. Some foreign players made the trip, but many stayed away because of concerns about security. Still, it was hailed worldwide as a grand success.

That was followed by three T20s against a World XI in September, and one T20 against Sri Lanka in October – all in Lahore.

(Originally: Sport 360)

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