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Situation in Lanka "too volatile": Arthur

South African cricket coach said the players were pleased to be back home where they felt 'safe'

india Updated: Aug 22, 2006 12:06 IST

South African cricket coach Mickey Arthuron Tuesdaysaid he and his players were happy to be back in the country because the situation in Sri Lanka was "too volatile".

"Before we first travelled to Sri Lanka our security experts informed us that it was okay for us to embark on the tour because most of the fighting was taking place in the north of the country," he said in an interview about the recent aborted tour of Sri Lanka and preparations for the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in India.

"But after the two bombs went off in Colombo we were advised that the situation was too volatile and I think it was a correct decision for our board to cancel the rest of the tour.

"We are very pleased to be back in our own country where we feel safe. However, we are prepared to play in Sri Lanka once the conditions are okay. We are disappointed with what has taken place because the Sri Lankans have been fantastic hosts," he said.

Arthur said they would now concentrate on playing as many games as possible in preparation for the Champions Trophy tournament in India.

"We want to make a statement about our standard when we travel to India for the tournament", he said.

He said the Champions Trophy tournament would be ideal training ground for the World Cup in the West Indies next year.

First Published: Aug 22, 2006 12:06 IST