Andrew Symonds, the Australian allrounder, is not yet convinced about players' safety in Pakistan, the venue of the Champions Trophy in September. Symonds had expressed reservations ahead of Australia's scheduled tour to Pakistan earlier this year, which was postponed.
Although Pakistan recently hosted the Asia Cup concerns have grown following attacks in Islamabad, the capital, and in the port city of Karachi the last week.
"My feelings haven't changed a great deal," Symonds said on his arrival from the West Indies. "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."
Symonds' opinion, though, was in complete contrast to fellow Queensland allrounder Shane Watson. "Personally, I'd go anywhere, I'll play anywhere, I just want to play for my country," Watson said. The ODI series in the West Indies marked Watson's comeback to the team after more than a year, and he's ready to play for Australia anywhere.
"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."
Michael Clarke, who captained Australia in Ricky Ponting's absence for the final two ODIs, declined to comment, leaving the issue to the game's administrators. Clarke said he would wait to hear what Cricket Australia, the Australian Cricketers' Association and the International Cricket Council decided on the issue.
Ponting had indicated last month players were still uneasy over touring Pakistan last month. Cricket Australia is expected to take a decision within two weeks, while the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) chief executive Paul Marsh said decision will not be made before it get reports from its security experts and the Federation of International Cricket Associations. The ICC is yet to make its final decision on Pakistan conducting the tournament. Sri Lanka is the alternate host for the Champions Trophy, but South Africa have also been tipped as a replacement.
Australia are drawn in a pool comprising India, Pakistan and the West Indies, and are scheduled to play their first match against India in Lahore on September 13. Symonds, Clarke and Watson have been named in Australia's their preliminary 30-man squad for the tournament.