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February 22, 2013
Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland has said the second Test in Hyderabad next week is not in doubt at this stage, despite bombs in the city killing at least 12 people on Thursday night. The BCCI too confirmed that the Test should go ahead as usual and is unlikely to have a change of venue.
The twin blasts came on the eve of the first Test between Australia and India in Chennai, and the teams are due to travel to Hyderabad on Wednesday ahead of the second Test.
The bombs hit the Dilsukhnagar region of Hyderabad about ten minutes apart and were labelled "a dastardly attack" by India's prime minister Manmohan Singh. Sutherland, who is in Chennai, said on Friday morning that he had spoken to a BCCI official on Thursday night and the two organisations would work together to assess the security situation.
"It is sad news overnight," Sutherland said. "From our perspective the focus around the team is very much on this Test in Chennai, everyone is very comfortable here in terms of the security arrangements in place. The players are focused on what they have ahead of them.
"We will take advice from relevant authorities and work with the BCCI and others here to make assessments around Hyderabad, but at the same time plans have been in place for a long time and at this stage I wouldn't be calling into question things going ahead in Hyderabad as planned."
BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla confirmed that the Indian board had approached government officials regarding security in Hyderabad.
"I spoke to the Union home secretary [Sushil Kumar Shinde], who was in Hyderabad, and had a discussion with the chief minister [Kiran Kumar Reddy] and officials of the state government. After that he told me that adequate security will be provided to the players as well as the spectators. So Test match should not be shifted out of Hyderabad," Shukla was quoted as saying by PTI. "I have conveyed this to the BCCI president [N Srinivasan], who in turn is going to speak to chairman of Cricket Australia and convey that when government is giving a guarantee of security for the players and the spectators, we think we should not change the venue."
Australia's team manager Gavin Dovey spoke to the players and kept them up to date with developments, but Sutherland said they wanted to ensure they could remain focused on the Chennai Test.
"We don't hold anything back from the players, they know where everything is at," Sutherland said. "But at the same time they have expressed a desire to be focused and minimise this so that they can focus on cricket this week.
"We will work together with the players and the players' association on these sorts of issues. There is a high level of confidence among the group that the management will work through that. We will communicate openly and make assessments ... As far as I'm concerned we're playing the second Test match in Hyderabad next week."
Sutherland said Cricket Australia had great confidence in the BCCI's ability to deal with security issues on a day-to-day basis. Shortly before departing for the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Australia's captain Michael Clarke said his players were happy to be guided by the team's security experts.
"From the team's point of view, our focus is wholly and solely on the field because we've got people off the field who are experts in what is going on, we'll be advised by them," Clarke said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people of Hyderabad who have been affected."
03.25GMT, February 22: This story has been updated with the latest quotes from James Sutherland
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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