No double standards in touring India, says ACA

September 15th, 2008 - 6:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Sep 15 (IANS) Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) feels the security threat in India is not as alarming as Pakistan, but fears it will have to cope with a fair bit of criticism for going ahead with the tour.Cricket Australia (CA) and ACA will meet government and independent security advisers Monday to discuss the Indian security situation following serial blasts in New Delhi, the venue for the third Test from Oct 29.

ACA chief executive Paul Marsh said he expected “heat” if Australia toured India.

“The threat assessment for India has been considerably lower than that of Pakistan,” Marsh was quoted in Australian media.

“I expect there will be heat if we decide to tour,” Marsh said.

“As much as it’s sometimes reported that we cancel series at the drop of a hat, that is simply not the case. We receive specific, expert advice from people who have served us well in the past and we will consult them again. I would not say there is panic among the players I have spoken to, but a degree of concern.

The Australians were criticised by several members of the Asian Cricket Council and commentators for postponing this year’s tour of Pakistan on security grounds and expressing concerns over the staging of the Champions Trophy which was eventually postponed.

Marsh insisted security assessments would be made impartially and not swayed by the lucrative nature of an Indian tour compared with Pakistan.

“If the team stays in India, there might be some who criticise us for double standards. But people need to understand our starting point is that we always want to tour.”

“We go to extreme lengths to obtain the best advice on the situation of each country we visit. In Pakistan’s case this year, people we rely on told us not to tour. If they say not to tour again, we’ll listen. Bombs going off anywhere are a concern.”

Australia’s high commissioner to India, John McCarthy has offered his assistance should the board need it. The Department of Foreign Affairs has not upgraded the travel warning to India but has referenced the Delhi bombings on its website.

“We want to find out if the latest bombings will change that in any way and what our independent experts think about our Australia A players being over there at the moment. As always we’ll rely on the advice of the experts.”

Australia A team is touring India and their assessment of the situation will also be taken.

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