After blasts, Aus-India series in doubt

A deadly bomb blast has put Australia's tour of India in doubt, with CA now waiting on the results of a security report before making a final decision.

updated: September 14, 2008 12:23 IST
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The Australian cricket board on Sunday said it would review the security situation in India following Saturday's serial blasts in New Delhi. Cricket Australia (CA) said it would decide next week whether to proceed with the next month's four-match Test series or not.

CA Public Affairs Manager Peter Young said the board will seek advice from the Australian Government and ask team security manager Reg Dickason to compile an urgent report on the security situation in India.

Dickason will work with the Australian Cricketers' Association and CA General Manager of Cricket Michael Brown who has been assigned the job to speak to the Indian Cricket Board, the Australian High Commission in New Delhi and security agencies to gain information on traveling in India.

"We will seek advice from the Australian Government and our security expert Dickason has been asked to compile a report. Cricket General Manager Brown will speak to the BCCI and High Commission in New Delhi," Young said.

"Based on this report and other inputs, we will take a decision on the tour next week or so," he said.

"The fundamental principle that always comes first is the safety of the team and the team officials." Young said a pre-tour assessment has already been done but if the concerns remain Cricket Australia will consider another inspection.

Niranjan Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, was hopeful Cricket Australia would fulfil its touring commitments and complete the series.

"We are definitely concerned with today's explosions in Delhi," Shah told reporters. "But I don't think it will have any impact on the coming Australia series."

Shah's optimism will presumably be tested in the coming days. CA has already postponed a Test series in Pakistan earlier this year due to security concerns, and expressed reservations about competing in the Champions Trophy, also in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, latest Australian government's travel advice for India is "to exercise a high degree of caution because of high risk of terrorist activity by militant groups".

A 15-man Australian squad will leave for India on September 21 with the first Test starting in Bangalore on October 9. New Delhi is the venue of the third Test starting on October 29.

(With PTI inputs)