Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - I think Australia need to be responsible: Ramiz Raja. Ramiz Raja insists Pakistan won't look for neutral venues
Ramiz Raja insists Pakistan won't look for neutral venues
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja has said that Pakistan aren't going to “look outwards” and hunt for neutral international venues in the backdrop of tour pullouts by New Zealand and England. He also said that Australia, who are slated to tour the country in February-March next year, “will probably do what New Zealand and England have done,” and urged Cricket Australia to act responsibly.
“Our stance and my stance for many a year is that we've made so much of sacrifice, spent a lot of money to try and instill confidence in visiting teams to play in Pakistan. So we're not going to look outwards or look for international neutral venues. It's going to be Pakistan right from now to the end,” Ramiz said in an online press conference on Tuesday (September 21).
“I think Australia need to be responsible, it's as simple as that. The theme here is to help out Pakistan and it must not have a domino effect. And it appears as if we are going to experience a domino effect,” he added. “As it is, it's a small cricket fraternity and Australia is a major player in that. What use will Australia be to Pakistan if they act on New Zealand's behavior, if they see England withdrawing from Pakistan and take a cue from that.
“By the way, England's take was not security but it was players being spooked and players being uncomfortable and the Players Association being iffy. There's no cricketing sense of that withdrawal. I hope we are able to convince Australia that Pakistan is safe. If it is safe for Australians in PSL, why can't it be safe for the entire Australian cricket team?”
While New Zealand pulled out purely because of security issues, England have cited player fatigue as one of the main reasons for withdrawing from a visit to Pakistan. With several players participating in the ongoing Indian Premier League, Ramiz called the situation a “fantastic dichotomy.”
“You're quoting fatigue and you're quoting mental tension and players being spooked. And what, Dubai is about an hour-and-a-half flight from here and so before the World Cup, they're quite happy to be caged in a bubble environment and carry on with the tournament. So one feels slighted, one feels humiliated because withdrawal doesn't have an answer, frankly speaking,” he said. “Obviously there's the extra attraction of money and the stage (at the IPL) but then you know, my grouse and frustration is that when Pakistan needed ECB, it did not stand behind Pakistan.”
After withdrawals by New Zealand and England, Pakistan had reached out to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for a short series but since players from both the nations had prior commitments, nothing could be organized.
“We had said we cannot send the T20 squad (to Pakistan) because we don't have the time to prepare them now and our World Cup preparation would have been hampered,” BCB President Nazmul Hasan told Cricbuzz. “The cricketers are continuously in the bio-bubble and after playing successive series now they are having a 20-day break because they have to be in a new bubble for an extended time (ahead of the World Cup). We are planning to send the team to man and we will be playing three practice matches there before the World Cup but it could not have happened if we had accepted the request to tour Pakistan.”
(With inputs from Atif Azam)