When is a country too dangerous to tour?

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Tim May, chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations, explains why Australia are likely to tour India, but wouldn’t visit Pakistan (like usual) for the Champions Trophy:

“Pakistan has had 66 suicide bombings within its country over the past 12 months with over 3,000 people killed and 17 of those attacks had been in the venues of the Champions Trophy. There was no security assessment that there was the likelihood of any further bombs going off in Jaipur.”

It’s unfortunate that May chose to mention the numbers of lives lost, as if there were some limit at which point cricket tours couldn’t happen. We don’t think he meant that though. He was really citing the frequency of Pakistani suicide bombings.

But how much worse is that than the situation in India? Five bombs went off in New Delhi yesterday, which means Australia will be playing matches in four cities that have suffered bomb blasts this year: New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Jaipur.

You would think that Jaipur would worry Australia most. Jaipur is a major tourist town and there were ten bombs there in May – although fortunately four didn’t go off. The security assessment says there’s little likelihood of any further bombs going off, but how exactly do you reach such a conclusion?

The situation is worse in Pakistan, but there’s a suspicion that there are other reasons why Australia and the Australian players fundamentally want to play in India and fundamentally don’t want to play in Pakistan. Matches against India are higher profile and there would be knock-on effects for the rather lucrative IPL.

Are there any holes in the security assessment that might indicate priorities? It only takes one bomb to endanger lives. How are they drawing this line that falls so that Pakistan can’t be toured, but India can?


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  1. Don’t think he meant that at all Jrod. Just that the Aussies are frit of doing anything to offend the BCCI – they know who’s boss

  2. It’s all a bit mad. I was there not long ago, and all seemed fine. India doesn’t “feel” like a dodgy place. It’s not like Hackney.

    Then ago, days after I left, the cinema that I watched batmen in was blown up.

  3. We know what you mean, Atheist. The Ahmedabad riots started days after we left the town. We’d still say that India isn’t a dodgy place though.

    JRod’s about half-right, Ceci – and we suspect he thinks the same.

  4. this appeal is based on vague recollection, no actual research,and a great deal of presumption…but anyway,,,, am i right in thinking that the last time Australia toured England only a couple of weeks before the series began approximately the 7th of July, several bombs exploded in London, if memory serves it was 4… and then possibly the day before, or the actual day of the first test a further 4 bombs failed to detonate in London? Australia proceeded to play at both lords and the oval…. surely this tour should have been canceled due to rather extreme danger? it is possible that i have my dates mixed up… possibly even my years, if this is the case i do apologize to anyone that may have read this drivel.

  5. I don’t understand what you socialists are wound up about. Here in the capitalist world you weigh the rewards ($$$) against the risks (loss of life and limb). Pakistan should sweeten the deal by offering Australia’s cricketers cash payments for visiting. I suggest that key Australian players like Symonds then go on a rebel tour to Pakistan. Isn’t this what happened in SA in the 70’s and 80’s? The risk there was loss-of-any-chance-of-going-to-heaven but the math worked similarly.

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