Australia pull out of Champions Trophy?

Published: Wednesday, August 20, 2008, 11:35 [IST]
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Melbourne: Australia has pulled out next month's Champions Trophy in Pakistan due to security concerns in the strife-torn country, according to media reports.

Paul Marsh, the Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive, has recommended that his members should not go to the tournament, which begins on Sept 12. The move to give the tournament a miss with just three weeks to go for the tournament came after it was revealed that last week's meeting with the International Cricket Council (ICC ) failed to ease players' fears regarding security in Pakistan. Australian players and officials met with an ICC delegation in Melbourne last week.

"Our position is that we can't recommend the players tour Pakistan for the Champions Trophy," Australia Cricketers' Association chief Paul Marsh told The Daily Telegraph.

Australia's lead is likely to be followed over the next few days by at least two other countries. England captain Kevin Pietersen admitted on Monday that there were still 'huge reservations', and yesterday Owais Shah revealed further doubts. "We have all got concerns. I do know what Karachi can be like having grown up there."

The New Zealanders have already expressed their own fears over travelling to Pakistan, where their captain Daniel Vettori was among the players to be involved in a bombing incident in 2002. ICC had earlier said that Sri Lanka is on stand-by as a venue.

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