Saturday February 23, 2013
Australia to play in Hyderabad despite bomb blasts
SYDNEY: Cricket Australia yesterday said they planned to play the second Test against India in Hyderabad as scheduled next week despite deadly bomb attacks in the city on the eve of the series opener.
The twin blasts on Thursday night killed at least 14 people and wounded dozens more in the southern Indian city, raising questions over whether Australia would play the second Test starting on March 2.
“At this stage there is no reason to doubt that what we have planned in Hyderabad next week will go ahead,” said Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, who is with the team in Chennai.
“My expectation would be everything would go ahead as planned,” he said in a statement released as the opening match in the four-Test series got underway.
Sutherland said he was happy to continue to Hyderabad where the team are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.
The team were “very comfortable” (with security), everything has gone absolutely to plan“.
“We will liaise with the relevant authorities over the course of next few days and make any necessary assessments, but the focus here right now in Chennai is around the cricket,” said Sutherland.
“The players are very focused on this Test ... no one’s indicated concerns at the moment.”
The CEO had earlier told Fairfax media that team manager Gavin Dovey had sent players text messages overnight updating them on the blasts and that security had been stepped up.
Dozens of extra police reportedly surrounded the Chennai hotel where the Australian and Indian teams are staying.
Captain Michael Clarke spoke for his players: “From the team’s point of view, our focus is wholly and solely on the field because we’ve got people off the field who are experts in what is going on. We’ll be advised by them,” he told Fairfax.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people of Hyderabad who have been affected.” — AFP