26 Jul 2008

ICC admits they can't stop player pullout of Champions Trophy

4:03 pm on 26 July 2008

International cricket chiefs admitted they'll be powerless to prevent any mass pullout from September's Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

Responding to suggestions that players and even teams may skip the event because of security fears, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat says they can't force players to attend.

He says all they can do is make them confident about the measures taken in regard to safety and security and on that basis hope they participate.

Holders Australia, who are also world champions, and other key nations could refuse to play in the tournament after the ICC decided to go ahead with the event in Pakistan.

The Australian and New Zealand players' associations have called on their country's governing bodies not to send teams, while England players will be asked if they want to travel.

The ICC will appoint a commission to look into ensuring security at the tournament, but it hasn't been enough to ease fears about the threat of Islamic militant attacks.