LAHORE - The International Cricket Council on Wednesday officially launched the Champions Trophy scheduled to be held in Pakistan in September. This is the first ICC mega event in 12 years in the action-starved Pakistan. The last event the country hosted was World Cup in 1996. ICC President Ray Mali, who presided over the ceremony,  said that he was impressed with the facilities and the atmosphere in Pakistan. The ceremony was indeed a spectacular show. Host Ramiz Raja did a remarkable job and there could not a better choice for music performance than the one and only 'Strings'.   Terming Pakistan a "great host to a great tournament", Mali said Pakistan had the wherewithal needed to make the tournament a big success. "Pakistan has the venues, of course, but more importantly, it also has the passion to do real justice to what we at the ICC believe will be a superb event," he said. "We all know just how important the game of cricket is to countless numbers of people in this country - and come September the whole world will get the chance to see Pakistan's love of and hunger for the game first hand. PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf, in his speech, said that Pakistan wanted to make the tournament as one of the best ever in history. "We are thrilled and delighted at hosting the ICC Champions Trophy which is the second most important tournament after the ICC Cricket World Cup," he said. "And with this being the first ICC event to be held in Pakistan for 12 years, we are excited and committed to making it the best-ever for the participating teams as well as for all the spectators who will be travelling to Pakistan in September. This prestigious tournament will provide an excellent opportunity to Pakistan to show its passion for cricket and will also give an opportunity to show our traditional hospitality. "This tournament will also play a vital role in contributing to Pakistan's development programme which is already finding its feet. With the tournament to be played under a new and exciting format, I have no doubt that this event will go down in history as one of the most keenly and fiercely contested events." "The eight teams taking part are from five different continents, a great illustration of the game's diversity. At a time when there are so many negatives in the world, cricket really is a lesson in how people can come together." Rehman Malik, the advisor to the prime minister on interior, assured that fool proof security would be provided to all the participating teams. The teams for this year's tournament have been divided into two groups. Group A includes defending champion Australia, India, Pakistan and the West Indies while South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England are in Group B. Each side plays all other sides in its group and the top two teams from each group progress to the semi-finals with the top side from Group A playing the second-placed side from Group B and the second-placed side from Group A playing the top side from Group B That final will be staged at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, which also hosted the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1996. The other venues are Karachi and Rawalpindi, which will each host a semi-final.   The tournament is likely to generate US$10million for ICC Members below the top tier, taking to US$75million the amount raised by this tournament for development since it began in 1998.