An­dre Rus­sell will­ing to visit Pak­istan, would be 'scared'

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

West Indies all-rounder An­dre Rus­sell ex­pressed his will­ing­ness to visit Pak­istan, but will be 'scared' if the Pak­istan Su­per League (PSL) were to be staged in it's host coun­try next year. Rus­sell, who is cur­rently rep­re­sent­ing Is­lam­abad United in the PSL, judges the sit­u­a­tion ac­cord­ing to what he sees and hears on main­stream me­dia about Pak­istan.

"Based on what I have heard and stuff you know, I mean, I am go­ing to be scared ob­vi­ously," Rus­sell told ESPNcricinfo, when asked if he would play in Pak­istan.

"But, for some rea­son, I would go to Pak­istan. But lis­ten, I am go­ing to be scared. That's the thing," he added. The In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) does not yet con­sider Pak­istan as a safe place to travel for in­ter­na­tional teams de­spite Zim­babwe's tour to the coun­try last year, which made them the first team to visit Pak­istan af­ter the Sri Lankan team bus was at­tacked near Gaddafi Sta­dium, La­hore in 2009.

On the other hand, PSL Chair­man Na­jam Sethi has al­ready re­vealed his plans to host some matches of the league in Pak­istan next year.

Rus­sell said that go­ing to Pak­istan would be as dan­ger­ous as trav­el­ling to Iraq - a coun­try which has been suf­fer­ing from war since more than a decade now. "It is like me go­ing to Iraq based on what I have heard about Iraq. You are go­ing to have nice places in Iraq. You are go­ing to have nice places in Pak­istan. I've seen pic­tures, beau­ti­ful places, and beau­ti­ful peo­ple. But it is [about] what is sur­round­ing [them]," Rus­sell said.

Rus­sell was not shy to equate Pak­istan to his very own home town Ja­maica where crime has dis­turbed the lives of many.

"A lot of crime go­ing on in Ja­maica. I'm from Ja­maica. I'm go­ing to tell, Ja­maica is the most beau­ti­ful place in the world. You are go­ing to say, 'No, but, they are shoot­ing peo­ple.' I will say, no, no. Don't worry. So it is go­ing to be sim­i­lar [about go­ing to Pak­istan]. So if I have to go, I'll go. But if I don't have to, I don't mind," said the Is­lam­abad United man.

In the past few weeks, high-pro­file names such as Shane Wat­son and Dar­ren Sammy have said that they would travel to Pak­istan if they are cleared by the re­lated au­thor­i­ties.

"I had a re­ally good time while play­ing in Pak­istan in 2005 dur­ing the Aus­tralia A team tour," said Wat­son on the eve of PSL.

"How­ever, se­cu­rity is the most im­por­tant thing and if play­ers around the world are de­clared to be very safe I will be happy to play there.

"I love play­ing cricket wher­ever it is around the world. If se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion con­tin­ues to get bet­ter there, it will be nice and Pak­istan hadn't had home team ad­van­tage for a long time now be­cause of se­cu­rity con­cerns and hope­fully it works out their way soon," added the Aus­tralian all-rounder, whom was snapped up by Is­lam­abad United at the PSL draft.

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