Dubai, Sept 24 : In the wake of refusal by several international cricket teams from play in Pakistan citing security reasons, former Australian cricketing legend Greg Chappell has said that the world cricket community will have to step forward to prevent Pakistan going into international isolation.
Defending his home country Australia's decision of not touring Pakistan and refusing to play in the ICC Champions Trophy, Chappell said a solution had to be found out before Pakistan faced isolation.
"What is happenning in Pakistan is very saddening. Blasts can happen anaywhere in the world these days but Pakistan is sort of a different case. There is too much happenning there and its quite a dengerous place to visit," The News quoted Chappell as saying while speaking to a group of Pakistan journalists at the Dubai airport.
Chappell said that a solution has to be found to help Pakistan, whom he described as one of the core members of the international cricket community.
According to the paper, Pakistan is crying out for help following a disappointing first nine months of 2008 in which top teams like Australia, South Africa, West Indies, England and New Zealand have refised to tour the country, citing security fears.
Australia refused to tour Pakistan earlier this year to play a series scheduled by ICC's future tour programme, dealing a severe blow to Pakistan and leaving them without a single Test in 2008. Another major blow came last month when the ICC was forced to postpone the Champions trophy till next October after five of the eight competing teams refused to tour Pakistan because of security concerns.
Chappell said that he had a lot of sympathy for Pakistan but was quick to add that teams like Australia and New Zealand have realistic fears about travelling to Pakistan. "When New Zealand last toured Pakistan, there was a huge bomb blast in Karachi. Their players saw severe loss of human life around them. They were really scared. So are other cricketers," he stressed.
Chappell said that Pakistan should think about other options till the time the political situation improves there. "Playing cricket on neutral venues like Sharjah and Abu Dhabi could be a practical option," he said.
Story first published: Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 14:14 [IST]
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