Sunday, July 13, 2008

Australia undecided on players who refuse to tour Pakistan

Cricket Australia is yet to consider the position of players who refuse to tour Pakistan for the Champions Trophy. James Sutherland, the CA chief executive, said the board was currently interested in understanding the security issues and concerns and about whether the tournament will go ahead.

"Then we get down to the decision for us as to whether we're comfortable,"

Sutherland told the Age.

Australia have till August 15 to name their final squad for the Champions Trophy and Sutherland expects to have a better picture of the situation by then.

"We have a high level of confidence in the consultants that have been engaged to work with ICC and the authorities in Pakistan. Now it is a matter of getting a better understanding in the coming couple of weeks from those consultants of how successful that implementation has been."

Andrew Symonds, the Australian allrounder, has expressed his reservations over touring Pakistan, a country that in the past year has had a state of emergency imposed on it, suffered the assassination of a former prime minister, followed by riots and bomb attacks on two of its cities. But other players, including Shane Watson and Nathan Hauritz, have said they will be happy to play anywhere as long as they get to represent Australia.

Earlier this year Australia postponed their tour of Pakistan due to security concerns. They are now scheduled to visit the country for bi-lateral series in 2009 and 2010.

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