Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja has shared his views after New Zealand and England recently pulled out of their respective tours to Pakistan. New Zealand abandoned their white-ball tour moments before the first ODI, citing security reasons. Soon, England followed what the Blackcaps did and called off their limited-overs tour as well.
Many former cricketers of Pakistan showed disappointment and anger towards New Zealand and England for cancelling their tours, stating that their nation is completely safe for international matches.
Khawaja, who played for Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) this year, asserted the players felt comfortable and secure during the T20 tournament. He mentioned the security arrangements in Pakistan have improved in recent years.
“There’s a lot of security. Heavy, heavy security. I’ve heard nothing but reports about people feeling safe. Even talking to the guys during the PSL about what it’s like … they would say the same thing to me ‘like 10 years ago, maybe not, but now 100 per cent’,” said Khawaja as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
Khawaja also reckoned that it is easy for teams to refuse to tour countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, but the reaction would be completely different if it was the case with India due to monetary gains at stake. The 34-year-old felt money plays a vital role, and that’s one of the prime reasons nobody would dare to cancel the India tour.
“I feel it’s very easy for players and organisations to say no to Pakistan because it’s Pakistan. I think the same thing would apply, too, if it were Bangladesh. But nobody would say no to India if they’re in the same situation. Money talks, we all know that, and that’s probably a big part of it. They keep proving time and time again through their tournaments that they’re a safe place to play cricket. I think there’s no reason why we shouldn’t go back,” added Khawaja.