'India tour on unless otherwise persuaded'
Cricket Australia says that Saturday's blasts in New Delhi will have no impact on Ricky Ponting's team's upcoming India tour, unless it is otherwise persuaded.Updated: Sep 15, 2008, 15:23 IST
Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday 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.
He said Australia's tour is on and as scheduled, the team was planning to leave for the subcontinent on September 21.
"Our position is that the tour is going ahead unless we are otherwise persuaded," CA's General Manager of Public Affairs Peter 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 Australian government on Monday to take an update on the safety situation in India.
CA's General Manager of Cricket, Michael Brown is also expecting a report on Tuesday from team's security advisor, Reg Dickason, who was asked to compile an urgent report on the security situation in India.
Australia A is currently in Hyderabad for a one-day tri-series, involving India A and New Zealand A teams.
Meanwhile, 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.
"The threat assessment for India has been considerably lower than that of Pakistan," Australian Cricketer's Association Chief Executive, Paul Marsh was quoted as saying by the Australian media.
"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.
"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 said.
Marsh also said the threat perception towards India is not as bad as in neighbouring Pakistan but he expects some criticism if Australia embarks on India tour as per schedule.
"I expect there will be heat if we decide to tour," said Marsh.
"If the team stays in India, there might be some who criticise us for double standards. But people need to understand our starting point is that we always want to tour.
"We go to extreme lengths to obtain the best advice on the situation of 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," he said.