Terror strikes in Mumbai have raised a few concerns about the successful conduct of the Champions Trophy tournament, to be hosted by India later this year, with the fear of withdrawal of some countries from the meet looming large.In the aftermath of brutal bomb blasts in local trains of the financial capital of the country, a few in Australian cricket circles have expressed apprehensions over the security of players during the October 7-November 5 tournament.Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive Paul Marsh is confident that a pre-tour security assessment would provide the right decision for the team about the tour.
“We have a good procedure in place with Cricket Australia to assess overseas destinations,” Fox Sports today quoted Marsh as saying.”We will have a pre-tour visit with Cricket Australia officials to India and we will also rely on independent advice. If it is deemed safe to go, we will tour. If we are told it is unsafe, we will reconsider our position,” Marsh added.
“This reinforces once again that terrorist attacks and loss of life can happen anywhere and you have to take maximum precautions. You can’t take shortcuts,” he said.The Australians have always maintained extra caution while dealing with tours to countries which face terror threats. On earlier occasions, they have cancelled visits to Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Pakistan on the ground of the safety of players.
A Cricket Australia spokesman also underlined the concern about players’ safety.”In terms of the Champions Trophy, it’s obviously an (International Cricket Council) tournament. We’ll be continuing to take briefings from the ICC.”
“The safety of Australian players is always of vital importance,” he said.On the other hand, Cricket Australia chairman Creagh O’Connor yesterday wrote to the Indian Cricket Board expressing his sympathy and condolences.The fact that Mumbai is scheduled to host five matches – including Australia’s second game against an as-yet unknown opponent on October 18, and the final – during the mini World Cup could also serve as a point to force the Australians and some other touring sides contemplate withdrawal from the event.