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Ponting wants Champions League to be shifted

cricket Updated: Nov 27, 2008 12:45 IST

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Western Australia cricketers are eager to travel to India for the Champions Twenty20 League even as Australia skipper Ricky Ponting suggested shifting the tournament to some other country in the wake of the terror strikes at Mumbai.

Western Australia team members, who were supposed to fly out to India on Saturday, on Thursday met WACA chief executive Graeme Wood and the players voted unanimously to go, if cleared to do so by Cricket Australia, which has for the moment banned its members from travelling to the sub-continent.

"We will be guided by Cricket Australia and the WACA certainly won't be jeopardising our staff or players," said Wood who has had discussions with CA Cricket Operations Manager Michael Brown.

"The Australia Cricketers' Association is also involved because they go through the process and we are confident that this will give us the right outcome.

"We've spoken to the players and they are still keen to participate in the Champions League. They will take direction from the ACA as well though.

"As a playing group, they are unanimous in their decision but we won't be making any of them go, it will be their decision (if cleared by CA)," Wood was quoted as Australian Associated Press (AAP).

Ponting, meanwhile, said the attacks have caused "massive concern" and was the sole subject of discussion among the players.

"That has been the whole talk around the breakfast room this morning and certainly even at the start of training was about this incident," Ponting said on Thursday at the Adelaide Oval. Western Australia and Victoria are scheduled to take part in the Champions Twenty20 League along with Test stars Mike Hussey, Matthew Hayden, Shane Watson and former leg-spinner Shane Warne turning out for Indian Premier League teams.

"It goes to show the level of concern that we're showing towards it. Everyone who's playing in the event or wants to see the event do well would like to see it go ahead. So if that means moving it to a different country then I guess I'd support that.

"It's a horrible thing to have happened. Matty (Hayden) is supposed to be going there at the end of this game.

"We would hope that it can all be sorted out as soon as possible," Ponting said.

Hayden, who plays for Chennai Superstars in the IPL, said if the tournament was cancelled it would be a "huge loss" for international cricket.

"But the impact is minor compared to the social and economic impacts that it will have on India," he said.

While Western Australia would be playing their matches in Bangalore, Victoria, the other Australian team which will take part in the Champions League, have reasons for concern as their opening two matches were scheduled at Mumbai.

Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide said he had talked to the players about the situation in Mumbai.

"There's obviously concern, the players have just woken up on Thursday morning to all this news - they're meeting at the moment, just to be as updated as they possibly can.

"We're trying to update them with the information as it comes to us."