Australia to go ahead with India tour

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Australia will proceed with its four-Test tour of India after receiving the go-ahead from a security review in the wake of recent bombings in New Delhi.

Updated: September 19, 2008 17:54 IST
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Melbourne, Australia:

Australia will proceed with its four-Test cricket tour of India after receiving the go-ahead from a security review in the wake of recent bombings in New Delhi.

Australia's 15-man squad is due to leave September 21 for warmup matches in Jaipur and Hyderabad before the first Test starting October 9 at Bangalore. The series wraps up in New Delhi starting October 29.

"Our advice is there are some concerns and to exercise caution, but currently they do not compromise the tour," Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young said on Tuesday.

Young said Cricket Australia had reviewed security advice from its own expert and the Indian board - following a series of blasts that ripped through the Indian capital and killed at least 20 people and wounded about 100 others on the weekend - and confirmed that travel to India "remains appropriate."

"In consultation with the BCCI, we have upgraded security in and around the dressing rooms and (the squad) will have an escort to the ground," Young said in a statement.

Security has already been tightened for Australia's second-string 'A' team, which is in India at the moment for a series involving India A and New Zealand A.

"Australia A players have also been told not to leave the hotel without good reason," he said. "It's just a matter of prudence."

Young said it was standard practice to review security before all international series and dismissed suggestions of double-standards after Australia refused to tour Pakistan earlier this year on security grounds.

That stance was backed by Australian Cricketers Association chief executive Paul Marsh.

"As much as it's sometimes reported that we cancel series at the drop of a hat, that is simply not the case," Marsh said. "I would not say there is panic among the players I have spoken to, but a degree of concern.

"If the team stays in India, there might be some who criticize us for double standards. But people need to understand our starting point is that we always want to tour."

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