x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Safety on Ponting's mind as Australia arrive in India

Australia arrive in India with captain Ricky Ponting saying that players' safety was paramount after a series of bombs in New Delhi on Sept 13.

MUMBAI // Australia arrived in India today for a four-Test series starting next month with captain Ricky Ponting saying that players' safety was paramount after a series of bombs in New Delhi on Sept 13. Australia decided to go ahead with the tour only after a security review following the blasts in the Indian capital that killed at least 20 people and injured more than 90. Ponting said the safety of the touring party would continue to be monitored throughout the tour.

"With the state of the world and the state of some of the countries that we're playing in, it's vitally important that me as captain and all the players in this national team are kept in the loop as much as possible and as often as possible," he said on Cricket Australia's official website. Australia's planned tour of Pakistan and this year's Champions Trophy in Pakistan were both postponed because of security fears.

On Saturday, a suicide truck-bomb attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad killed at least 53 people. "It is an absolute shame that things like this continue to happen in Pakistan because, believe it or not, as players you want to travel all around the world and you want to play in all the conditions around the world," Ponting said. "Unfortunately right now at the moment there's no way that we can be touring Pakistan."

The first Test against India starts in Bangalore on Oct 9. The remaining Tests are in Mohali, Delhi and Nagpur. *Reuters