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'Participate in Champions, else...'

Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson warned Australia, England and New Zealand that they could be marginalised in world cricket if they decided to pull out.

cricket Updated: Jul 24, 2008 14:09 IST
Champions

Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson has warned Australia, England and New Zealand that they could be marginalised in world cricket if they decide to pull out of Champions Trophy.

If a resolution to move the Champions Trophy out of Pakistan is not passed Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand would threaten boycotts and in that case, Lawson feels that the four opposing countries could be alienated by the wealthy Asian bloc.

"For certain countries it may well be (a no-go zone). Other countries are very happy to play here," Lawson said.

"Pakistan is a major cricket-playing country. It's the eighth-biggest country in the world and it plays our game, and yet people are going to ignore it? That's an astonishing thing," the Australian was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herlad'.

"The big money in the game is in India, and Pakistan is right next door. Maybe the Australians and New Zealands and Englands of the world will be marginalised, because all the other nations will be happy to come. That is one thing those countries have to consider fairly carefully."

Lawson, who has consistently maintained that it was safe to play cricket in Pakistan since taking over as coach last year, said he could not envisage the security situation, or perceptions of Pakistan in the western media, changing any time soon.

Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand have reservations about players' safety, while the West Indies Board has not problem in sending its team to Pakistan.