Sydney : If the tour of Pakistan is cancelled Australian cricketers can go and play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Not only would bypassing strife-torn Pakistan ensure their safety and provide peace of mind for their families, but Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Michael Clarke, Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds would be free to play in the cashed-up Twenty20 IPL.
The IPL is slated to begin April 18, which, at this stage, is near the end of the Pakistan trip.
The Australian players who had signed letters of intent to play in the IPL were originally expected to be unavailable for the next two years because of international commitments.
But a small window opened last month to play between tours of Pakistan and the mid-year visit to the West Indies.
That window could be opened further if the seven-week tour of Pakistan – due to begin in mid-March – does not go ahead.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) maintains the series of three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match will be staged only in Pakistan, and has refused to consider shifting the series to a neutral venue.
Australia’s security delegation must complete a pre-tour inspection of Pakistan before the team leaves, but there may be little, or no, time to do that since elections in Pakistan won’t be held until late February.