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Symonds: 'door ajar' on Pakistan
The Aussie cricketer will be in breach of contract if he refuses to tour Pakistan.
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2008 08:58 GMT

Andrew Symonds was playing off the back foot as news emerged of a possible contract breach [AFP]

Andrew Symonds, cricket all-rounder, made a slight about face on his threat to boycott Australia's trip to Pakistan as it emerged that he would be in breach of his national contract if he refused to tour.
Cricket Australia (CA) are waiting on further security assessments before committing to the scheduled tour next month, but Ricky Ponting, Australian captain, and Peter Young, CA spokesman, both warned that Symonds was contractually obliged to join the squad if the tour goes ahead.
"Whether it's unfair or not, we've all signed off on it (the contract)," Ponting said in Melbourne on Thursday.

"There will be lots of safety and security measures put in place and there will be all sorts of security checks done throughout Pakistan over the next few weeks to let us know as a player group whether it is actually safe to tour or not.

"If it is seen to be safe and you don't go, then I think that's where the breach of your contract would be."

Ricky Ponting,
Australia captain

"If it is seen to be safe and you don't go, then I think that's where the breach of your contract would be."

Symonds, who has been an outspoken critic of the tour going ahead, said on Wednesday that he would not tour Pakistan, but had changed his tone slightly on Thursday.

"The door's ajar, but you know where I stand on it," Symonds said.

"At the time that (decision) happens I'll have to make a decision that I'll have to stand by.

"Safety is at a premium, that's all it is really."

Binding contract

"Make as big or little a deal out of it as you like, but to me that's the problem we're faced with, otherwise I'd be saying I'll go there and play cricket."

CA spokesman Young echoed Ponting's assessment.

"The situation with the 25 players who have signed CA contracts is that they have signed a contract which binds them to play cricket as and when CA schedules cricket," Young said.

"To not play cricket as and when CA determines would put a player into a breach of contract situation."

The latest development in the tour saga came a day after Symonds was snapped up by the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition.

The revised Pakistan tour is currently scheduled to start in late March and run for about four weeks, overlapping with the April 18 start of the IPL tournament.

Source:
Agencies
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