PCB hints Pakistan may boycott 2009 tour of Australia
Pakistan may boycott its tour of Australia next year if Ricky Ponting and his men refuse to visit the Southeast Asian country for security reasons.
According to a report in the 'Sydney Morning Herald', Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Nasim Ashraf has sent an e-mail to his Australian counterpart Creagh O'Connor, requesting him to send a security delegation after the general election in the trouble-torn country.
"It would be very damaging to Pakistan cricket and it is not just Pakistan-specific, because no country in the world is safe from terrorist acts," Ashraf was quoted as saying.
"If we start letting this dictate our sports events, then I am afraid the whole world of cricket could be turned upside down and it could have serious repercussions financially and (for) the very existence of the Future Tours Program," he said.
And if Australia scrap the tour, Ashraf hinted Pakistan might come up with a tit-for-tat response and boycott their 2009 visit.
"This is a premature question, but we will keep all our options open. We are still very hopeful that Cricket Australia will make the right decision," he said.
Ashraf also dismissed the suggestion of playing the series in a neutral venue.
"We are absolutely sure that the environment to host Australia for cricket in March and April is secure, and I say that with absolutely no hesitation and a clear conscience.
"In terms of actual venues, there is no problem because we can be flexible about that if Cricket Australia has any reservations about a particular venue," the PCB chief asserted.