Cricket Australia defends decision to tour India

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> As concerns of players' safety take centrestage, Cricket Australia has denied it would be hypocritical to tour India in October.

Updated: August 01, 2008 06:35 IST
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As concerns of players' safety take centrestage, Cricket Australia has denied it would be hypocritical to tour India in October despite the recent bomb blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad while not touring Pakistan for the Champions Trophy in September.

"We only go where security advice tells us is safe. The same question was asked about the London bombings during the 2005 Ashes tour when we did not go to Pakistan in March," Cricket Australia's general manager of public affairs Peter Young told The Australian newspaper.

"As far as London was concerned, we kept the team out of there until security advice was emphatic that it was safe. We go through the same process every tour. It's as simple as that," Young added.

The first Test in October between Australia and India is scheduled to be played in Bangalore, which was rocked by nine explosions Friday that killed one woman and injured seven people. A day later, there were 21 serial blasts in Ahmedabad, killing at least 50 and injuring about 200.

In late September, the state of Victoria and Western Australia teams will also be in India for the Champions League, which includes the top two domestic Twenty20 teams from India, Australia, South Africa and England.

The Victorian cricket team will be based in Jaipur, which was hit by eight blasts in May - when the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament was on.

"I don't think the fact that that happened there (Jaipur) will lead us down another path. It's not something that I've discussed with Cricket Victoria or our team at this stage. Obviously if there was an escalation, we'd change our view but at this stage we intend to compete in the tournament," Victoria's coach Greg Shipperd, who coached the Delhi Daredevils team during the IPL, told The Australian newspaper.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade travel advisory has not upgraded the overall advice for India, urging travellers to exercise a high degree of caution whereas for Pakistan it says reconsider your need to travel .

"Pakistan has a longer history of incidents than most other places. We'll follow similar guidelines to Cricket Australia," Western Australia coach Tom Moody, who coached the Mohali team during IPL, told the newspaper.

Expressing concern over the bomb attacks in India, Australian Cricketers Association chief executive Paul Marsh told The Australian, The ACA would continue to go through the security processes with Cricket Australia, as we always do."

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