Pakistan fume as Australia tour India
Australia decided Tuesday to go ahead with their upcoming tour of
India despite security concerns following a series of deadly bomb
attacks in New Delhi, drawing scathing criticism from Pakistan.
“Our advice is there are some concerns and to exercise caution, but
currently they do not compromise the tour,” Cricket Australia said on
Ricky Ponting’s 15-man squad is due to leave this weekend with the
first of four Tests starting in Bangalore on October 9. Delhi will host
one Test match from October 29. Confirmation of the tour follows five
coordinated bomb blasts which ripped through crowded markets across the
Indian capital on Saturday evening, killing more than 20 people and
wounding at least 90 others.
Indian Mujahideen, a shadowy Muslim militant group, claimed
responsibility. Cricket Australia commissioned an urgent security review
following the bombings and spokesman Peter Young said it had concluded
that travel to India remained appropriate.
He said tight security arrangements were already in place for the
Australia A team currently in India, and they would be extended to the
senior squad when they arrived. “In consultation with the BCCI (Board of
Control for Cricket in India), we have upgraded security in and around
the dressing rooms and they will have an escort to the ground,” he said.
The team will initially travel to Jaipur, the state capital of
western Rajasthan where 65 people were killed in similar blasts in May,
for acclimatisation and a practice match. A second practice match in
Hyderabad is scheduled before the first Test in Bangalore, the southern
city rocked by eight bombs in July that killed a woman and injured
Australia was one of the nations that declined to tour Pakistan this
month for the International Cricket Council’s Champions Trophy on
security grounds, which led to the tournament being put off by a year.