ICC delegates arrive in Pakistan to examine Champions Trophy 2025 venues

Pakistan will host the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 in February and March. Scheduled to host the tournament across three stadiums, this will mark the first time since the attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team in 2009 that Pakistan has served as the sole host of an ICC tournament. Notably, the last major tournament held in Pakistan was the 1996 Cricket World Cup, which it co-hosted with India and Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, the International Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) delegation on Monday, March 25, arrived in Pakistan to oversee the Champions Trophy preparations in the country. The ICC Event Operations team, including Senior Man­ager Sarah Edgar, and Manager Aoun Zaidi, landed in Karachi to review the venues. The ICC delegation began inspections in various parts of the National Bank Stadium in Karachi, while the management of the sta­dium will brief the delegation about the preparations for the forthcoming tournament. In addition, the ICC delegation is also likely to meet various representatives from law enforcement agencies.

Apart from this, the body will also be visiting Lahore and Rawalpindi, the other two host cities. ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley, will be joining them during their visit to Rawalpindi. The PCB finalized the hosting rights agreement for the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 with the apex cricketing body in December 2023. Former PCB Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf, alongside ICC General Counsel Jonathan Hall, signed the hosting rights agreement for Pakistan at the ICC headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan secured automatic qualification for the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy by virtue of being the hosts. They are the reigning champions, having won the last edition in 2017. They will be joined by seven other highest-ranked teams from the 2023 Cricket World Cup group stage.

Remarkably, this marks the first time that former champions Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the tournament courtesy of their dismal performance in the recent ODI World Cup. The upcoming tournament will follow the format of the previous editions, with two groups of four teams, with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the semi-finals.