Andrew Symonds may avoid Pakistan tour

Sydney, December 30:

Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds on Sunday cast doubt on whether he will join the scheduled tour of Pakistan given the violence over the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Symonds said he would avoid Pakistan if he felt the country was not safe, adding that there was growing concern within the team about the planned tour. “I’m not interested in going into a situation that’s dangerous, where people are getting killed and hurt,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.

“At the end of the day it’s a game of cricket. I take my cricket very seriously and I love playing for Australia, but I’m not going to put myself in a situation where I can be harmed. There’s no need, not for a game of cricket.” Symonds said he had not made a final decision and would monitor the situation in the country which has been wracked by violence since Bhutto’s death on Thursday.

“You personally choose whether you want to play for Australia,” he said. “If you’re selected, you can choose to decline the offer of going on a tour or playing a game.” Following the assassination, Cricket Australia said it would stick to its original plan to make a decision on whether to tour based on a review of security in Pakistan done early next year.

Australia are due to arrive in Pakistan on March 10 to play three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 match. Symonds told the paper there was growing concern among the Australian team about the tour, and that the squad stopped to watch a news report on the assassination during the first Test against India in Melbourne.