India tour to go on as per schedule: CA

CA said Saturday's serial blasts in New Delhi will have no impact on Ricky Ponting's team's upcoming India tour, unless it is otherwise persuaded.

updated: September 19, 2008 17:52 IST
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A day after deciding to review its cricket tour to India following Saturday's serial blasts in New Delhi, Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday made it clear that the tour would go ahead as per schedule.

Cricket Australia's General Manager of Public Affairs Peter Young said CA would listen to the Australian government's advice but said the team under Ricky Ponting would depart on September 21, as originally scheduled.

"Our position is that the tour is going ahead unless we are otherwise persuaded," Young said.

"Our advice is there are some concerns and to exercise caution, but currently they do not compromise the tour. Our plan is to depart on September 21, subject to our advice," he added.

CA officials are scheduled to meet the representatives of the Australian government on Monday to take an update on the security situation in India.

Meanwhile, BCCI's Senior Vice President Rajiv Shukla said India was as safe as Australia, or for that matter anywhere in the world.

Speaking to NDTV, Shukla said, "The Australia tour will take place. Cricket Australia has so far raised no objections. All security requirements will be satisfied."

Shukla added, "We cannot compare India's situation with Pakistan, India is as safe as Australia."

CA's General Manager of Cricket, Michael Brown, is also expecting a report on Tuesday from the team's security advisor, Reg Dickason, who was asked to compile an urgent report on the security situation in India.

However, the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) does not believe the security situation in India is as bad as in neighbouring Pakistan.

"The threat assessment for India has been considerably lower than that of Pakistan," ACA's Chief Executive Paul Marsh was quoted as saying by the Australian media.

The senior Australian team is scheduled to play warm-up games in the cities of Jaipur and Hyderabad, which were rocked by bomb blasts last year and CA is hoping to collect more information on the situation in the country from members of the A squad.

Australia A is currently in Hyderabad for a one-day tri-series, involving India A and New Zealand A teams.