What’s happening in Pakistan is sad: Chappell
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
DUBAI: Australia legend Greg Chappell believes the world cricket community will have to step forward and help save Pakistan going into international isolation following top teams’ refusal to tour the country because of security fears, writes Khalid Hussain.
While defending the decision of his native Australia and other teams like England and South Africa not to tour Pakistan, Chappell said that a solution has to be found to help Pakistan, whom he described as one of the core members of the international cricket community.
“What is happenning in Pakistan is very sadenning,” Chappell told a couple of Pakistan journalists at the Dubai airport on Monday. “Blasts can happen anaywhere in the world these days but Pakistan is sort of a different case. There is too much happenning there and its quite a dengerous place to visit,” he pointed out.
Pakistan cricket is crying out for help following a disappointing first nine months of 2008 in which top teams like Australia, South Africa, West Indies, England and New Zealand have refised to tour the country, citing security fears.
Australia refused to tour Pakistan earlier this year to play a series scheduled by ICC’s future tour programme, dealing a severe blow to Pakistan and leaving them without a single Test in 2008. Another major blow came last month when the International Cricket Council (ICC) was forced to postpone the Champions trophy till next October after five of the eight competing teams refused to tour Pakistan because of security concerns.
Chappell said that he had a lot of sympathy for Pakistan but was quick to add that teams like Australia and New Zealand have realistic fears about travelling to Pakistan.
“When New Zealand last toured Pakistan, there was a huge bomb blast in Karachi. Their players saw severe loss of human life around them. They were really scared. So are other cricketers,” he stressed.
Chappell said that Pakistan should think about other options till the time the political situation improves there. “Playing cricket on neutral venues like Sharjah and Abu Dhabi could be a practical option,” he said.
Pakistani cricket officials do not favour this option because past experience has proved that such ventures serve little purpose. Pakistan hosted Australia in a Test series on neutral venues in Sri Lanka and Sharjah but that series failed to generate any profits.
Meanwhile, speaking to an Australian paper Chappell said that he is looking forward to working with young Australian players during the tour of India that got underway on Tuesday.