Pakistan players celebrate after winning the Champion Trophy at Lord's Cricket Ground in Britain. File
Pakistan’s near three-decade wait to host an international cricket tournament on its soil is due to end in 2025. Former cricketers, politicians and sport enthusiasts were rejoiced, congratulating the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), after the country won the hosting rights to the 2025 Champions Trophy, a title that the Men in Green won in 2017 against India and will defend on their homeland.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced Pakistan as hosts for the Champions Trophy in four years’ time as it allocated global events from 2024 to 2031.
The development came as the ICC confirmed the 14 host countries of ICC men’s white-ball events from 2024-2031, a statement from the cricket's governing body said. After Pakistan, the next edition of the Champions Trophy will be hosted by India in 2029.
Pakistan last staged an ICC event in 1996 when they co-hosted the 50-over World Cup with India and Sri Lanka, but the country has been largely starved of international cricket after the 2009 attack on the touring Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore.
In response, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja thanked the world cricket body for awarding the Champions Trophy 2025 to Pakistan, saying the event will showcase Pakistan’s passion for the sport, a statement from the PCB said.
Former cricketer Shahid Afridi tweeted: "Congratulations PCB and fans! [It] will be a great incentive for Pakistan[i] players to defend this big title at home."
Pace great Shoaib Akhtar also shared is excitement on Twitter after hearing the news.
"Super excited to hear about Pakistan getting the hosting rights for 2025 ICC Champions Trophy," he posted.
Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, meanwhile, appreciated the PCB , saying that "this will be the first time since 1996 that Pakistan will be hosting one of the three major global cricket tournaments."
Pakistan has been picked as the sole host of the Champions Trophy that will be the first after the 2017 edition which Pakistan won after defeating India in the final.
Champions Trophy was earlier allotted to Pakistan in 2008 but was shifted to South Africa months before the dates due to security concerns. South Africa hosted the tournament in 2009.
PCB CHIEF RAMIZ RAJA THANKS WORLD CRICKET BODY
The ICC Board’s decision means Pakistan will defend the ICC Champions Trophy title in their backyard when the eight-team and 15-match tournament is held at three iconic venues in February 2025. Pakistan had defeated India by 180 runs in the 2017 tournament at The Oval.
“I am pleased no-end with the ICC’s decision to select Pakistan as a host nation for one of their elite tournaments. By allocating a major global event to Pakistan, the ICC has expressed complete confidence and faith in our management and operational capabilities and skills," PCB chief said.
“We have continued to demonstrate how a great host we are and through the ICC Champions Trophy 2025, we will again showcase our passion and love for the sport as this event will be a boon to the millions of home fans, who will see world class teams and their favourite international players from close quarters," he added.
“We not only endeavour to plan and deliver a world-class event, we will also prepare and field a strong and formidable side that can perform and entertain our home fans. We saw during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup campaign how the nation got united and the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 at home will be another opportunity to further strengthen that bond as we defend the title," Raja said.
Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Afridi are among the four players nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Player of the Year award along with England’s Joe Root and New Zealand's Kane Williamson.
Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ashley de Silva said that the event may have to be put back until after the 2023 50-over World Cup because most teams had already planned schedules for the next two years.
"After 45 matches and countless incredible performances, the Most Valuable Team of the Tournament has been selected," said the ICC in a statement, a day after Australia clinched the title by beating New Zealand in the final.
Dahani is the third Pakistan quick to be forced out with injury after Shaheen Afridi and Wasim left the team ahead of the Asia Cup. The team said Dahani's injury "happened while bowling in the match against Hong Kong in Sharjah.
Mark Wood’s pace had earlier dismantled Pakistan for 145 in 19 overs in the lowest total so far of the series, which Pakistan now leads 3-2. David Willey and Sam Curran both grabbed 2-23.
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