London: Senior England cricket players have threatened to revolt against their Board and boycott the Champions Trophy, forging a common front with their Australian counterparts in expressing apprehensions over the security situation in Pakistan.
The International Cricket Council may be satisfied with the security situation in Pakistan “as of now” but English media reports said senior England players are unwilling to go by the governing body’s assertions.
The Daily Telegraph claimed that “messages have been bouncing back and forward between English and Australian players” in the West Indies, for a concerted action on the issue.
“The Aussies have already come out and expressed their concerns. I’m not a big fan of going to Pakistan. I just hope it won’t be us players who get left to make the decision in the end,” an unnamed senior England player was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
According to the newspaper, security expert Reg Dickason, whom Cricket Australia was planning to send to Pakistan to assess the security situation there, will also report his findings to the English board.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan arrives in London next week to discuss his increasingly edgy players’ concerns about touring Pakistan.
England coach Peter Moores, however, played down the situation and said it had not yet been a topic of conversation.
“We’ll wait and see what is said and if that’s where we’re going and we’ll take our advice from the ECB.” The English Players’ Association Chief Executive Sean Morris said, “We are working with the ECB on security reports which we will present to the players. Prior to that, there is bound to be a period of uncertainty.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board has dismissed security concerns. “We’ve been hearing though the media that there are concerns among some of the players but we are not taking it seriously unless there is an official confirmation from the boards of those countries,” PCB’s director of cricket operations Zakir Khan was quoted as saying by The News. — PTI