Symonds - It's not safe
Andrew Symonds has slammed the upcoming trip to Pakistan for the ICC Champions Trophy as "ridiculous".
Last Updated: 10/07/08 1:04pm
Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has slammed the upcoming trip to Pakistan for the ICC Champions Trophy as "ridiculous" after continuing concerns over the safety of the venue.
Players from Australia, New Zealand and England have expressed caution over playing in Pakistan after a deadly suicide blast in Rawalpindi - one of three venues for the tournament.
Symonds arrived home from a successful tour of the West Indies on Thursday and told reporters that while keeping an open mind he was yet to be convinced it was safe to play in Pakistan.
"My feelings haven't changed a great deal," said Symonds.
"I don't mind the odd game of cricket for Australia, but it is only a game at the end of the day, and putting yourself in a position where you're not safe, to me is ridiculous," he said.
Acting captain Michel Clarke, deputising for injured skipper Ricky Ponting, refused to express an opinion, instead preferring to leave the call up to the game's administrators.
Clarke said he would wait to hear what Cricket Australia, the Australian Cricketers' Association and the ICC decided on the issue.
Shane Watson, who revived his international career in the West Indies after being drafted in to replace injured Matthew Hayden, said he would play for his country no matter the situation.
"Personally, I'd go anywhere, I'll play anywhere, I just want to play for my country," Watson said.
"That's what I've worked so hard for, the injuries I've had, pretty up and down times over the last year, so I'd do anything to play for my country so wherever we have to go, I'll go."
Australia are drawn in a pool with India, Pakistan and the West Indies, and are scheduled to play their first match against India in Lahore on September 13.
The final is to be played in Lahore on September 28, with Australia to follow the tournament by making a four-Test tour of India in October.
Fast bowler Shaun Tait was named in a preliminary 30-man Australian squad on Thursday as he continues his lengthy fitness and rehabilitation programme following a self-imposed break from the game earlier this year.