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'We don't live in a perfect world'

Rahul Dravid said his team decided to stay back based on the guarantees of safety given to them.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2006 17:10 IST

Indian captain Rahul Dravid on Wednesday said he shared South Africa's concerns over the security situation in Sri Lanka and that his team decided to stay back based on the guarantees of safety given to them by the Sri Lankan government.

The South Africans decided to pull out of the Unitech tri-nation cricket series, which was to begin on August 14, in the wake of a fatal bomb blast on Monday, but India have opted to stay put to play a three-match ODI series against the hosts.

The Proteas' decision came after an independent security team of the ICC reported that "the current risk to the team" was at an "unacceptable level".

Dravid did not see any contradiction in India preferring to stay on while the African team headed back home.

"South Africa have gone by the recommendations of their people. We have spoken to the officials in the Sri Lankan board, the Sri Lankan government and the Indian High Commission," Dravid said at a media conference here.

"We have full confidence and faith in what they have to say and made our decision based on that."

Asked if terrorism was a constant threat to visiting teams and would affect cricket in the subcontinent in the long run, Dravid said, "I don't know. It is sad, and it was unfortunate that the (triangular) series had to be called off. We don't live in a perfect world."

Dravid said he hoped that the new schedule of three matches between India and Sri Lanka would give "something to cheer about" for the people of the island nation.

"We share a good relationship with Sri Lankan cricket. These are difficult times and we cannot blame anyone."

"We have come here to play cricket and everyone in our team is conscious of the importance that cricket enjoys in Sri Lanka as well as India.

"Hopefully we can bring some joy to the people here, and they will have something to cheer about."

Dravid said every member of the team was keen to get on with the game and they were more bothered about the inclement weather than the security threats.

"Never did anyone come up and say that he wants to go home. Everyone is keen to play. We are probably worried more about the weather than the security. Hopefully the weather will hold out from now on."

Dravid said it did not bother him that the team missed out on a chance to test itself against and also assess South Africa in the lead up to the Champions Trophy to be played in India later this year.

"We play each other so often these days that it doesn't really matter," he said. He said the team was happy to play a three-match series instead of a five-match one. "It (the new schedule) was mutually agreed," he said.

"We have been here for a while and there has not been much cricket. Everyone was happy to play three matches."

Dravid said Kaif has improved sinceTuesday from a fever which forced him to miss out on a practice session.

"He is good. He has two more days, I am confident he will be fully fit in time for the first match," the captain said.

First Published: Aug 17, 2006 01:06 IST