Ready to travel along Australia to convince players to tour Pakistan: ACA chief - Sports - Business Recorder

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Ready to travel along Australia to convince players to tour Pakistan: ACA chief - Sports - Business Recorder

The Chief Executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association Todd Greenberg has assured players that he will travel to Pakistan with them if the final approval for the tour is “ticked off.”

Australia are set to tour Pakistan for the first time in 24 years in March-April. Although the initial security assessment has been cleared, the tour remains subject to final approval.

“I have made an assurance to the players that they won’t go alone,” Greenberg told The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday. “If they are going to Pakistan, I will be going with them and I think that’s important. It’s an opportunity to show the players that we are in this together.”

“The ACA accompanied Cricket Australia on a pre-tour of Pakistan late last year, and the reports were all very positive. But we will continue to take the advice of DFAT and other government organisations, as we need to be able to satisfy not just the players, but their families, that it’s safe to tour,” he added.

Greenberg added that he would not be surprised to see a "few players" pulling out of the trip despite security clearance.

“There may be one or two players who won’t be comfortable despite the best advice we give, and that’s okay, we need to respect that,” he explained.

Some players may be ‘uncomfortable’ touring Pakistan: Tim Paine

Greenberg, however, added that world cricket needs to find a balance between players fulfilling their international commitment and withdrawing from tours if they feel the need to do so.

“We have to be kind and patient with each other, and there’ll be a player or two who say, you know what, this is not for me at this particular point in my life and career, I’m not comfortable going. If that’s the case, we need to have great respect for that,” he added.

Earlier, former Australian Test skipper Tim Paine had made similar predictions, saying some players might not be "comfortable" visiting the country.

“If we’re totally honest, there might be some people who aren’t comfortable going regardless,” Paine said in an interview with SEN - an Australian radio station in Victoria – in November 2021.

“There’ll be some guys who will be happy to take the experts’ advice and others will want to know a bit more.”

Australia are scheduled to play three Tests, as many ODIs, and a one-off Twenty20 International during their tour of Pakistan in March-April this year.

Three Test matches will take place in Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi, while all four white-ball matches will be played in Punjab’s provincial capital.

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