India’s warning to CA on pulling out of Pakistan tour

February 16th, 2008 - 9:20 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, Feb 16 (IANS) Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has warned Cricket Australia (CA) of “serious consequences” if it chooses to pull out of the Pakistan tour in the wake of terror attacks and suicide bombings in the strife torn South Asian country, media here reported. “There will be serious consequences because you can’t just pull out of a committed tour when the host board is giving you assurances about security and so is the government,” BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla was quoted as saying in The Australian.

Shukla said that CA should keep faith in the assurances of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about the safety of its players.

“If the host board and government are willing to give assurances, you have to accept that. You can’t just cancel a confirmed tour. The hosts know best about the prevailing security situation,” he said.

CA however dismissed the threat, alluding to the ICC women’s World Cup qualifiers that were pulled off from Pakistan because of the violence.

“The ICC process says that if you reach the point where the visiting side has security advice which says it’s not safe and the home side says that it is safe then you go to an independent arbiter,” CA public affairs manager Peter Young said.

“The ICC has a company that provides independent advice. Presumably that was what was done with the ICC women’s World Cup qualifiers which were pulled out of there (Pakistan) recently.

“The ICC agrees that it’s not appropriate to compel a team to travel into danger,” he said.

A number of Australia’s players have made it privately clear they will not tour Pakistan, and CA recently sent a letter to the PCB outlining security advice, which said that Pakistan was not a safe place to tour.

Shukla, who toured Pakistan with the Indian team as an official in 2004 and 2006, said even when India was due to tour Pakistan, its players were scared of playing there.

“But we decided to accept the assurances of the Pakistan board and government and the players supported us. Once the tour was over they were all very happy at making the tour,” he said.

“Similarly I think the Australians must listen to the arguments of the Pakistan board for whom the tour is important.”

A PCB official welcomed Shukla’s statement insisting it would have some bearing on the final decision of the Australians.

“The Indian board is an influential one because of its position in the cricket world and recently they have managed to get their point across to the Australians on some contentious issues on their ongoing tour,” he said.

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