Aus may face charges of double standards

The ACA does not believe the security situation in India is as bad as in Pakistan. However, Paul Marsh said he expected criticism if Australia toured.

updated: September 19, 2008 17:52 IST
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New Delhi:

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) does not believe the security situation in India is as bad as in neighbouring Pakistan. However, Paul Marsh, the chief executive, said he expected criticism if Australia toured.

"If the team stays in India, there might be some who criticise us for double standards," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"But people need to understand our starting point is that we always want to tour," Marsh added to clarify that there would be no double standards in deciding whether the national team should tour India or not.

The ACA chief was speaking to the media following Cricket Australia's decision to go ahead with the India tour despite Saturday's serial blasts in New Delhi, India's national capital. At least 20 people were killed and about 100 others were wounded in the explosions.

Earlier this year, the Australians pulled out of a series in Pakistan and also expressed security fears ahead of the Champions Trophy limited-overs tournament, which was scheduled to be held in the country this month. After pressure from several countries including Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the Champions Trophy was eventually postponed for a year.

Trying to make it clear that they always did what was in the best interests of the game, Marsh added: "We go to extreme lengths to obtain the best advice on the situation in each country we visit. In Pakistan's case this year, people we rely on told us not to tour. If they say not to tour again, we'll listen. Bombs going off anywhere are a concern."

Marsh asserted that the threat assessment for India had been considerably lower than that of Pakistan. "We want to find out if the latest bombings will change that in any way and what our independent experts think about our Australia A players being over there at the moment," Marsh told another daily, The Australian.

"As always we'll rely on the advice of the experts. Our primary concern at the moment is the A team being over there and trying to get an idea whether it's an acceptable risk for them to stay," he added.

The BCCI, however, believes the tour will continue.