Chennai, Feb 22 (PTI): In the wake of the twin bomb blasts in the capital city of southern state Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, which is scheduled to host the second India-Australia Test cricket match, the “concerned” Cricket Australia (CA) said there is “no reason to doubt” that the match would go ahead as planned.
“We will make assessments in time but at this stage there is no reason to doubt that what we have planned in Hyderabad will go ahead,” CA CEO James Sutherland, who is here for the opening Test which got underway on Friday, said.
Hyderabad, which is scheduled to host the match from March 2, was on Thuirsday rocked by two bomb blasts which have so far claimed 14 lives.
“Very concerned to hear that news but at the same time we are focussed. On the management side, we will wait for the next few days and make any necessary assessments. But the focus here right now in Chennai is on cricket,” asserted Sutherland.
Sutherland said it was too early to express fears as he is “comfortable” with the security being provided to the Australian cricketers.
“We work closely with relevant authorities in taking advice from them. I think it’s premature to be making assessments on that (whether Hyderabad can host the match) but from where I sit right now, my expectation would be that everything will go ahead in Hyderabad as planned,” he stressed.
“(I am) very comfortable (with security arrangements).
From our reports after talking to our security guys, everything has gone absolutely to plan.
“We do our pre-tour visits and liaise with the relevant authorities. Everything has been mapped carefully and is going according to the plans,” he said.
Sutherland said none of the touring players have expressed any security fears after the blasts.
“No player has indicated any concern at the moment. The players are very focussed right now on this Test match in Chennai and the management will do what they need to do; taking relevant advice, working with authorities here in Chennai and in other parts, including the Australian government,” he said.
Sutherland also refuted suggestions that the incident would distract Australian cricketers from the job at hand.
“These guys are professional sportsmen and part of that is preparing yourself in being able to manage distractions.
You need to perform at the best of your ability and you wouldn’t get to this level unless you are able to do that,” he explained.
“I am very confident that the team is focussed on what they have got ahead this week in Chennai. At the same time, they are very confident to leave it on the management to focus with any other issues,” he said.
Australia are scheduled to play four Tests against India leading into the Ashes series during the English summer.