We were right not to tour Pakistan: Ponting

September 22nd, 2008 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Sep 22 (IANS) Australian captain Ricky Pointing said the deadly suicide attack in Islamabad justified their decision not to visit Pakistan for the bilateral series and the Champions Trophy.Cricket security expert Reg Dickason confirmed that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wanted the Australian team to stay in Mariott Hotel, where a devastating bomb attack killed 53 people Saturday, during the Test and one-day tour scheduled for March and April this year.

The tour was abandoned over safety and security concerns.

South Africa and other teams pulled out of the Champions Trophy, scheduled Sep 12-28, also due to security reasons. The tournament had to be finally postponed by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“It’s devastating for the people involved,” Ponting said about the blasts.

“I mean, we would be talking hypothetically, of us being in the hotel or England or South Africa being in the hotel,” Ponting was quoted as saying in ‘The Age’ prior to the team’s departure for the four-match Test series against India.

Ponting said they were right to listen to the advice of Australia’s security experts and the department of foreign affairs.

“It is an absolute shame that things like this continue to happen in Pakistan because, believe it or not, as players, you want to play in all the conditions around the world,” he added.

If the Champions Trophy had been played as scheduled originally, the England and South African teams may have been at the Marriott Hotel when it was virtually destroyed Saturday.

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