DUBAI: South Africa may replace Sri Lanka as the venue of the Champions Trophy one-day tournament later this year, the International Cricket Council said on Wednesday.
A teleconference between members of the ICC's chief executives' committee, comprising representatives of the 10 Test nations, concluded that South Africa would provide better weather conditions than Sri Lanka in September-October.
A final decision on the twice-postponed tournament, the second biggest after the World Cup, will be taken by the ICC's Executive Board in Dubai on Monday.
The committee recommended the tournament be switched to South Africa because "it was felt that it would be too great a risk to stage the tournament in Colombo at a time of year when there was a distinct possibility of rain," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement.
The initial recommendation will now go before the ICC Board for consideration on March 16.
"The meeting agreed we had to do everything possible to ensure the ICC Champions Trophy is a successful event," ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said.
The Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) had met via teleconference Wednesday to consider if weather conditions in Sri Lanka in September and October would allow a successful staging of the ICC Champions Trophy.
In the course of the meeting, Sri Lanka Cricket said it could not guarantee there would be no rain in Colombo during the dates set aside for the tournament, September 24 to October 5, swaying the move towards South Africa.
Lorgat addd: "The CEC agreed the need to do everything possible to ensure this year's ICC Champions Trophy is a successful event.
"On that basis it was felt that it would be too great a risk to stage the tournament in Colombo at a time of year when there was a distinct possibility of rain.
"This was especially relevant given the length of this year's ICC Champions Trophy has been reduced to 12 days, part of our desire to make it a short, sharp event, as on that basis there would be no room for reserve days.
"South Africa was a successful and excellent host of the ICC World Twenty20 at much the same time of year two years ago and the weather pattern in the area around Johannesburg in September and October is stable and ideal for cricket.
"The meeting therefore agreed it would be prudent to look to hold the tournament in South Africa, subject to agreement over financial arrangements.
"We are extremely grateful for Sri Lanka Cricket's willingness to step aside in this matter and for Cricket South Africa's willingness to be considered as the host for the event."
The elite eight-nation event was moved out of Pakistan after South Africa refused to tour Pakistan, while Australia, England and New Zealand also voiced concerns over touring the troubled country.
In addition, the March 3 attack in Lahore on the Sri Lankan team bus has further set back any chance of Pakistan hosting an event in the near future.
Australia will defend the title they won in India in 2006. England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies are the other competing teams.