Stuart MacGill believes it is "naïve" to think sport and politics do not mix as Australia wait to make a decision on whether to tour Zimbabwe in September. MacGill refused to go on Australia's last trip there in 2004 and said the situation had "deteriorated enormously" since.
The one-day side is due to arrive in Zimbabwe after the Twenty20 world championships in South Africa and the Australian government has expressed its concerns about touring. However, Cricket Australia can only avoid a $2m ICC fine if the decision to abandon the trip is based on security concerns.
"It's naive to think that sport and politics don't mix," MacGill said in The Australian. "You have to look at things from all angles and make your own mind up about the sorts of things that are important to you and that you have a bigger part to play in the world community than just on the sporting field."
MacGill, who is a Test-only player, is not in a position to boycott the tour and is unsure whether any of his team-mates are considering it. "I don't know and I'm careful not to discuss it with anyone because I'd hate to think I'm making their mind up for them," he told the paper. "I'm not an activist, I'm not making a stand, it's just something that I didn't feel comfortable doing."
MacGill made his choice in 2004 after speaking to Andy Flower, the former Zimbabwe batsman. "On an individual level, there was a lot to feel uncomfortable about travelling as a sporting team over there and so I decided I couldn't go," he said. "If anything, it has deteriorated enormously."
The paper reported Cricket Australia was likely to send a delegation to Zimbabwe in August. "We don't have our heads in the sand ... but we have very strict obligations under the ICC's future tours program," Peter Young, the Cricket Australia spokesman, said.