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Symonds says no to Pakistan tour

The Australian all-rounder says he was almost certain to make himself unavailable if the scheduled tour of troubled Pakistan goes ahead.
By HT Correspondent | AFP, Adelaide
UPDATED ON FEB 20, 2008 04:58 PM IST

Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds on Wednesday said he was almost certain to make himself unavailable if the scheduled tour of troubled Pakistan goes ahead.

The tour has been in doubt for some time due to security concerns, with tensions again heightened in Pakistan for this week's elections.

There have been reports in the media that some worried players were willing to boycott the tour, sparking fears Australia might be forced to send a second-string side to Pakistan.

Neutral venues have been suggested and even India has weighed in to the debate, telling Australia it would take a dim view of the tour being cancelled.

Symonds has been outspoken about his concerns over the tour, which was this week shortened to 30 days after a meeting between Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Cricket Australia (CA) officials in Kuala Lumpur.

The tour, which was originally to include three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 clash, now appears to have been reduced to just three Tests. It is due to start in late March.

Speaking on Australian television today, Symonds said he believed Pakistan was too great a risk.

"I don't think I would go," he told Network Ten.

"I just dread to think what would happen if someone got hurt, let alone killed.

"It's just a situation you'd never want to find yourself in," he added, noting that CA were aware of his views.

CA were expected to send a delegation to Pakistan in early March to assess security.

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