‘Is money now more important than their safety?’ – Dean Jones criticises Pakistan’s security level that kills the ‘fun of touring’
In recent times, a lot of overseas players refused to tour Pakistan but changed their minds after being offered more money.
Updated - Nov 23, 2019 12:22 pm
Former Australia batsman Dean Jones has expressed his disappointment over how extra security for players visiting Pakistan has taken the fun out of touring the country. Pakistan are desperately trying to bring full-fledged cricket on their soil after being compelled to play away from home for almost a decade. Most of the teams refused to tour the country since the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.
Pakistan are yet to host a Test on its own soil since 2009. However, the situation is improving as a number of teams have visited the country in recent years. Zimbabwe toured Pakistan in 2015 before West Indies and Sri Lanka also followed suit. A World XI side had also visited the country in 2017 for a T20I series.
But despite the improving situation, Pakistan are taking no chances with the security of the visitors. As a result, the visiting players and others are not being allowed to roam freely on the streets of Pakistan like in the past. Recalling the time when he toured Pakistan, Dean Jones said that international tours have lost their charm as players are no longer given the liberty to go beyond their heavily-guarded hotel rooms.
“Today, players are whisked off their international flight and placed in bullet and bomb-proof buses with army security that’s mind-boggling,” Jones wrote in his column for The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Players are cooped up in their rooms like prison cells, the security just won’t let you out. As a head coach in the Pakistan Super League, I know that when players have too much time to themselves, they have a tendency to think too much. They begin dwelling on how they got out or personal issues. Their minds can become their enemies,” he added.
Dean Jones questions players
The ex-cricketer-turned commentator also questioned the morality of the players who prefer money over security. In recent times, a lot of overseas players refused to tour Pakistan but changed their minds after being offered more money. He also vented his frustration over that preferential treatment for some overseas players.
“During the recent PSL, many players were paid extra appearance money to play in Pakistan. I was furious over this decision; it meant that these players’ lives were more important than ours,” he said.
“Some players said they would not go to Pakistan due to the security and potential terrorist threats yet accepted extra money to tour when it was offered. I am confused about their intentions and priorities. Is money now more important than their safety?” added the former Islamabad United coach.