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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has proposed three venues - Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi - to the ICC for the Champions Trophy. Pakistan is scheduled to host its first ICC event next year since the 1996 ODI World Cup and the board has sent the initial draft schedule to the ICC. Interestingly, it is still not confirmed whether India will travel to Pakistan for the event.

Notably, the initial schedule also includes matches involving India but for now, it is only with the ICC and according to ESPNCricinfo, it will undergo changes before being shared with the broadcaster and the other boards. The next official meeting of ICC is in July and most probably, things related to India's stance will get cleared. Meanwhile, PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi informed at a press conference in Lahore that ICC's security team visited Pakistan to overlook at the arrangements and had a meeting with the board officials too.

"We've sent the schedule for the matches in Pakistan for the ICC Champions Trophy. The ICC's security team came and we had a very good meeting. They looked at arrangements here and we'll also share stadium upgrade plans with them. We're continuously in



touch with the ICC. We are trying to ensure we host a very good tournament in Pakistan," Naqvi said.

Coming back to India's stance, everything will depend on whether the government gives permission to the team to travel Pakistan and play the matches. PCB had to adopt to hybrid model last year as India refused to tour Pakistan for the Asia Cup but a month later, Pakistan sent the team to India for the ODI World Cup.

As far as the proposed venues are concerned, PCB is planning to upgrade all the stadiums at the said venues in order to make a pleasing viewing experience for the fans. "If you look at Gaddafi [stadium in Lahore], it is good, but the viewing experience is not great for cricket. Football maybe, not cricket. We need to improve facilities in the stadiums, where there are some old problems. [The National Stadium in] Karachi is in bad shape.

So on May 7th, we'll finalise bids from international companies who will come and help us design. We will work with local consultants as well. We are already late but we need to do these upgrades in four-five months. It will be a very tough test but we can do it," PCB Chairman added.
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