‘We need to respect that’ – ACA chief on prospect of Australian players pulling out of Pakistan tour

‘We need to respect that’ – ACA chief on prospect of Australian players pulling out of Pakistan tour

The ACA chief said he’ll travel alongside the national cricketers if the tour gets a green signal for the authorities.

Australian team
Australian team. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Australia are scheduled to travel Pakistan for a full-fledged series in March-April, which comprises three Tests, as many ODIs and one T20I. It’s indeed an important series for the home team as the Aussie team hasn’t played in Pakistan since 1998.  In fact, international teams have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009.

Although international cricket has been played in the country in recent years, several players have refused to join the trip. Australian team might face the same issue as well. Speaking on the matter, Todd Greenberg, the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) chief, said he’ll travel alongside the national cricketers if the tour gets a green signal for the authorities.

If Australian team is going to Pakistan, I’ll be going with them: ACA chief

Greenberg also said it would be fine if some players back out from the trip. “I’ve made an assurance to the players that they won’t go alone. If they’re going to Pakistan, I’ll be going with them and I think that’s important. It’s an opportunity to show the players that we’re in this together,” Greenberg was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

“The ACA accompanied Cricket Australia on a pre-tour of Pakistan late last year, and the reports were all very positive. But we’ll continue to take the advice of DFAT [Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] and other government organisations, as we need to be able to satisfy not just the players, but their families, that it’s safe to tour,” he added.

It must be noted that New Zealand cancelled their tour of Pakistan last year owing to security concerns. England also did the same but the board officials cited physical and mental well-being of players behind the decision. Greenberg also admitted that some players would be hesitant to travel and their decision would be respected.

“There may be one or two players who won’t be comfortable despite the best advice we give, and that’s OK, we need to respect that,” Greenberg said.

“”We have to be kind and patient with each other, and there’ll be a player or two who say, ‘You know what, this is not for me at this particular point in my life and career, I’m not comfortable going’,” he told SEN Radio.