Pakistan's relieved cricket authorities said Friday that they were more focused than ever on staging a safe Champions Trophy following a decision to keep the prestigious event in their country.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) decided Thursday to keep the Champions Trophy in Pakistan, despite fears of a pullout by players from Australia, New Zealand and England over security concerns.
The ICC appointed a task force to ensure a tight security plan is implemented for the September 11-28 tournament, in which Australia are the defending champions.
"Yes, we are relieved and more focused now that a decision has finally been made, although we always had confidence in the wisdom of the ICC board," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi told AFP.
"It's a matter of great satisfaction that the security concerns were addressed and it is now more a question of addressing the perceptions, and separate perceptions from reality," said Naghmi.
The cricketers' associations of Australia and New Zealand have however expressed disappointment at the ICC decision and advised players not to travel to Pakistan.