Oz, Kiwi players' associations call for Champions Trophy boycott

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Sydney, Jul 26 (UNI) Expressing concern over the security situation in Pakistan, Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) chief executive Paul Marsh has called for a 'boycott' of the Champions Trophy, to be played in the strife-torn country this September.

''We've gone through this with a fine-tooth comb and we don't think the risk to go to Pakistan is acceptable. I am very hopeful Cricket Australia (CA) will make that decision,'' Marsh was quoted as saying by the local media.

''It would be unfair and inconsistent to put that decision back on players given what's happened in the past,'' he added.

Marsh expressed his disappointment with the ICC decision and said was still seeking clarity on the security task force proposed by the game's global governing body.

In New Zealand, cricketers' association president Heath Mills echoed Marsh's views.

''We're very disappointed by the decision out of the ICC overnight,'' Mills said.

''There's been a strong view that we don't think Pakistan is a safe work place for the players and our position hasn't changed. It's our strong recommendation to the players that they don't travel to Pakistan at this point in time.'' Meanwhile, the South African players' union, although concerned over the security scenario in Pakistan is ready to work with Cricket South Africa (CSA) on the issue.

''It is premature to suggest that we have pulled out,'' South African Cricketers Association's (SACA) chief executive Tony Irish said yesterday. ''We have serious concerns and we want to work with CSA about whether the team will go or not.'' UNI XC AB PY PM1355

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