Player relief at tour postponement

Australian cricketers agree that their tour to Pakistan be delayed.

    Michael Clarke: "Rapt" [GALLO/GETTY]
    Two of Australia's players have expressed relief that this month's tour of Pakistan has been postponed.

    The world champions were due to tour Pakistan for 30 days but Cricket Australia (CA) put the trip on hold because of the recent suicide bombings, including two on Tuesday in Lahore, where Australia were due to play.

    "I don't think disappointed is the right word, I'm rapt Cricket Australia and the ACA (Australian Cricketers' Association) made the decision and it didn't have to come down to individual players," batsman Michael Clarke said.

    "I'm happy it's been sorted out without the players' involvement. I'm very relieved and happy they've done that for the playing group."

    Australia have not played a test match in Pakistan since 1998.

    Their three-test tour scheduled for four years later was moved to Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates because of security concerns.

    Clark with Clarke

    Fast bowler Stuart Clark echoed Michael Clarke's comments and told a Sydney radio station: "I don't think anyone likes it when a cricket tour gets called off, because that's our job, but there was obviously concerns from everyone involved."

    CA chief executive James Sutherland said they had taken advice from the Pakistan Cricket Board, the Pakistani and Australian governments, and independent security consultants before making their decision.

    "I am not sure that there was necessarily a belief that cricketers would be specific targets," he told ABC Radio.

    "But there was enough risk for us to be sufficiently concerned to tell the Pakistanis that in the circumstances, we didn't think we would be able to tour right now."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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