Warne & co shaken by Jaipur blasts, may return home

May 15th, 2008 - 9:51 am ICT by admin  

By Neena Bhandari
Sydney, May 15 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals captain-coach Shane Warne and several other leading international cricketers have said they will not return to Jaipur unless they received absolute guarantees about their safety and security and are even contemplating returning home. The players, from a country that has never faced terrorism on its soil, have been badly shaken by the blasts in Jaipur.

Warne and fellow Australian Shane Watson and South Africa captain Graeme Smith were holidaying in Goa when at least 63 people were killed as bombs exploded on Tuesday night in the heart of the Pink City’s main markets, also popular with foreign tourists and frequented by Warne’s teammates.

Australian Darren Berry, manager of the team, told the Sydney Morning Herald there was “a real option of getting on the plane and getting out of here. It is terrifying. To think I was standing in the exact location the bombs went off only two days ago … it was a couple of kilometres from the team hotel. The whole country has gone into lockdown.”

“These games are getting big crowds. People over here tell me this has nothing to do with cricket, it is political … but if some people are prepared to cause this type of damage, detonating bombs in peak-hour to harm the most number of people possible … 50,000 people come to the stadium to watch the games,” Berry said.

“We wouldn’t be moving until we had absolute guarantees, written guarantees from heads of (these) states and from heads of security,” Berry told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Some of them are even thinking of returning home. The Rajasthan Royals are scheduled to play Bangalore Royal Challengers in Jaipur on Saturday night.

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