Ramiz Raja, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has requested Cricket Australia (CA) to act responsibly while deciding on a visit to his country early next year.
In February and March 2022, Australia will play two Tests, three One Day Internationals, and three Twenty20 Internationals. However, the decision by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to withdraw from the series due to an unspecified “security threat,” followed by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) departure from the October tour, has Pakistan questioning Australia’s commitment.
In a virtual press conference with the foreign media on Tuesday, Raja expressed his fears, saying that Australia, as a member of the “western bloc,” may as well skip the Pakistan visit next year.
He did, however, say that Australia, as a major cricketing nation, should not duplicate New Zealand’s actions against Pakistan.
“As it stands, it’s a small cricket fraternity, and Australia is a key participant within it. What good would it do Pakistan if Australia intervened in New Zealand’s behaviour? Or if they see England withdrawing from Pakistan and decide to follow England’s lead.”
He chastised the ECB for employing petty tactics in its withdrawal.
“England did not have security reasons to cancel the October trip, it was players being spooked, uncomfortable and iffy. There’s no cricketing sense of that withdrawal.”He wondered why all foreign players, including those from England, New Zealand, and Australia, are safe in Pakistan during the Pakistan Super League (PSL), but not their cricket teams as a whole.
By the way, our neutral security agent, who travels all over the world, has rated Pakistani security as the best in the world of sports. It outperforms football security and Formula One security. I’m not sure how else we’re going to persuade the rest of the world that everything is good here,” he continued.
The PCB chairman stated that the cricket body is already working on a contingency plan in the event that Australia fails to follow through on its commitment.
He claimed a triangular series may fill the hole if the Australia tour does not go as planned during a press conference with local journalists on Wednesday.