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Oz team getting ‘worked up’ after blast

Australian cricket team management is updating the security scenario in the country following the low-intensity blast in New Delhi, reports Arjun Sen.

cricket Updated: Sep 27, 2008 23:22 IST
Arjun Sen

Matthew Slade was enjoying his evening cup of tea inside the dressing room when a text message from an Australian journalist about 'a blast in New Delhi' rudely cut short the Australian media manager's tea break.

Slade, looking visibly concerned, was out of the dressing room in a jiffy, eager to know what actually had happened. He first confirmed the news from RCA officials and then went back to the dressing room. Though play resumed normally after the tea break, the already claustrophobic security in and around the ground was beefed up even further.

After about 30 or so minutes since play resumed, the Australian team's security advisor, Reg Dickson, according to eyewitnesses, entered the long room and told senior RCA officials 'to buck up around here'. Dickson also made it clear that "from tomorrow no one should be seen walking near the boundaries".

Dickson has asked to be given a more 'hands-on' role in the security of the team.

The Australians are jittery, and rightly so, too. Saturday's blast was the second time the Capital --- which is also the venue of the third Test in the series --- has been targeted in the last fortnight or so, and the players are not exactly taking this lightly.

Though Simon Katich --- who was sent to the press conference --- maintained that the team had 'just heard the news', HT has learnt that the team did, in fact, have an informal chat about the situation after the day's play.

"Some of the players seem just that little worked up about the fact that Delhi is being targeted so frequently now," a source said. The Australian team had scheduled an official team meeting at the Rajputana Sheraton at nine in the evening and was "awaiting a directive from Cricket Australia".

Meanwhile a top BCCI official said: "We are yet to receive any communication from CA, but we have got in touch with the Union Home Ministry, which has issued an advisory to states where matches will be held. The tour will go ahead as planned."