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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Australia to tour India despite bombings

Australia will go ahead with their four-Test tour of India after a security review following a series of bombings in New Delhi , Cricket Australia (CA) said on Tuesday. CA said on Sunday it would review security arrangements after five bombs went off in the Indian capital on Saturday, killing at least 20 and injuring more than 90 others.
"We have done a review of our security advice and it has not changed since last week," CA public affairs manager Peter Young said. "The safety and security advice for India is broadly speaking to exercise caution."
Young said the organisation would upgrade security for the senior team and the Australia A side which is currently in India.
"We will have security in place around the senior team, which is what we always were going to have," he added.
Young said CA had consulted with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which would also upgrade security in and around the dressing rooms and provide escorts for the team to and from the ground.
Players will still be allowed to venture outside of the team hotels "within prudent guidelines".
The Test side are due to leave Australia on Sunday and start the tour with warm-up matches in Jaipur and Hyderabad.
Both cities have been the targets of bombings within the past 13 months.
The first Test begins in Bangalore, which was also the site of a bomb attack in July, on Oct. 9.
The third Test begins in Delhi on Oct. 29.
Australia pulled out of a tour of Pakistan because of security fears and withdrew from the Champions Trophy due to be held in Pakistan this month for the same reason. The tournament has since been postponed.
Young, however, said the assessment of the security risk was different for each of the countries.
"In very broad terms the advice we have is in sharp contrast to what we had for Pakistan, which was that it was not safe to travel (in Pakistan) because the attacks there were targeting westerners," Young said.
"The problems (in India) are completely different in intensity and of a different nature."

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