Cricketers' concerns arise on Pak tour

Fresh concerns have emerged about the willingness of a few members of the Indian cricket team to visit Pakistan.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
  • Total Shares


Fresh concerns have emerged about the willingness of a few members of the Indian cricket team to visit Pakistan when the scheduled tour begins next month. Sources within the team say a meeting took place among a few players on arrival in Melbourne this evening where the first final of the tri-series against world champions Australia is scheduled on Friday. Players seem to have called upon the meeting to win wider support for boycott rather than limit it to a couple of senior players only. Crucial tour The tour to Pakistan is going to generate such passion that nobody wants to be seen alone in deciding on the issue one way or the other. They would rather look to be united in the stand than appear to be the odd men out. The Indian team management has repeatedly denied any such move on the part of players but more and more voices within the Indian team suggests impression to the contrary. It was in Melbourne alone, during the second Test in December, when word first went around players' reservations on tour to Pakistan. Since then the preparation for the tour has gone ahead and players now have no choice but to take a stand since the tour to Australia is coming to a finish. Another reason for players to deal with the issue firmly is because it might hamper their preparation for the finals which they dearly want to win. Indians have had a brilliant tour to Australia and they are keen to leave the shores with the one-day trophy in their baggage. Security concerns The players, it is learnt, remain unconvinced about the security aspect of the tour even though the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced they would be accorded presidential level of security. A lot hinges on the upcoming tour, certainly financially for the Pakistan Cricket Board who are looking at a profit of at least USD 20 million. Decisions at many fronts at the administrative level still remain to be taken but there are indications that things would be hammered out by the time the week is out. If players make known their stance to boycott the tour, it would once again pit them against the BCCI after the "ambush marketing" deadlock in 2002. The Board, it is learnt, has been in touch with players over the last few weeks. Captain Sourav Ganguly reportedly is keen to lead the side to Pakistan, provided he has the full-strength team at his disposal. (PTI)