Lawson: Oz Tour In Jeopardy

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Coach Geoff Lawson expects Australia to cancel their scheduled tour of Pakistan amidst concerns over security.

Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers' Assocation are set to meet on Wednesday to discuss the proposed tour following a spate of bombings in Pakistan.

The tour is scheduled to start on March 29, but Pakistan coach Lawson is already braced for a withdrawal.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) seems to be pretty negative about the tour, only because the correspondence they've been receiving from Cricket Australia has been negative,"

Lawson told The Age newspaper.

"Pretty much everything they've heard from CA has been a hedging of bets in case they decide not to come.

"The PCB have been pretty disappointed by the comments. Everyone here knows there would be no problem with the tour, yet the more likely scenario seems to be that it won't happen from what we're hearing."

Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has repeatedly said he is unlikely to make the tour and Lawson insists this is because the dates clash with the inaugural Indian Premier League.

"It would be a terrific coincidence,"

Lawson said.

"You would like to think that wouldn't be what it was about, but the amounts of money being talked about are massive.

"To a certain degree, it's pretty embarrassing to be over here and hearing some of the stuff being said.

"When people here read what Symonds has had to say about touring Pakistan, there is a lot of shaking of the head. There is no knowledge behind those comments whatsoever. Australian players don't realise how important the game is to other countries.

"This decision is far bigger than just the fate of a few matches. If the precedent is set, it would give everybody an out from coming here because 'that's what Australia did'."

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Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?