Putting to rest months of speculation, the body governing English sports on Tuesday gave its athletes the go-ahead to compete in the Commonwealth Games while handing Indian security arrangements a hefty endorsement.
Commonwealth Games England (CGE) said it will not only send its biggest-ever contingent to the Delhi Games, but will also convey its decision to the sporting bodies of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales — British provinces that compete as separate teams in the event.
The decision — coming 10 days after two low-intensity bombs exploded at an Indian Premier League match in Bangalore — will come as a major boost to Indian sporting authorities, who have had to swallow the insult of an England pullout from the World Badminton Championships in Hyderabad last year.
CGE chairman, Andrew Foster, said: “England’s intention is to compete at the Games and we are currently making arrangements to create the best possible environment for success in Delhi. Our team will be the biggest England team for an overseas game to date, with an anticipated size of more than 550, including nearly 400 athletes.
“Security is something we and the Delhi 2010 Organising Committee take very seriously. We have taken, and will continue to take, expert advice on the situation.”
The CGE’s approval follows a review of security arrangements at recent successful sporting events held in Delhi, including the IPL, the hockey World Cup and international archery, shooting and boxing events.