Taufel urges Aussies to fearlessly tour Pak

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Melbourne, Aug 3 (UNI) Brushing aside the security fears in Pakistan, the three-time ICC Umpire of the Year Simon Taufel has urged Australian cricketers to fearlessly tour the ''friendly'' nation for next month's Champions Trophy.

''There are no guarantees in any area of life. In all my experiences there, the Pakistan people have been friendly and hospitable,'' Taufel was quoted as saying by 'The Sun-Herald'.

Australian key players including skipper Ricky Ponting might boycott the eight-nation tourney, starting from September 12 to 28 at Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi, due to security fears.

However, Taufel felt such concerns are exaggerated and Pakistan is as good as any other venue in the world in terms of security.

''Everything is absolutely first class. All measures are taken with security. They make a huge effort in the security stakes. At no stage, have I felt worried in danger or threatened in Pakistan,'' he added.

Taufel further said he would have no issues travelling to Pakistan if selected to officiate in the Champions Trophy.

''If I'm selected to be an umpire, I will not hesitate to go,'' he asserted.

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