Australia in India 2008-09 September 26, 2008

Cricket Australia applauds Rajasthan hospitality

Cricinfo staff

Greg Chappell would do well to improve Ricky Ponting's Test average in India © AFP

Cricket Australia has thanked the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) for the facilities offered to the Australian team at their academy in Jaipur. Australia are acclimatising to Indian conditions at the RCA Academy, where Greg Chappell, appointed the team's assistant coach for the tour, is an advisor.

"It is important for any touring cricket team to acclimatise to the conditions before a big series and we're grateful to the Rajasthan Cricket Association for the hospitality they have extended to Australia and the high quality of the facilities on offer at RCA's Academy in Jaipur," Michael Brown, Cricket Australia's acting chief executive, said. "We look forward to extending the same courtesies to India when they next tour Australia as part of the successful and ongoing bilateral relationship between Cricket Australia and the BCCI."

However, the move to provide the Australian team the best hospitality hasn't gone down too well with a few BCCI officials. "We won't get this kind of facilities if India went abroad, we would have got the bare minimum," Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's chief administrative officer, said. "RCA is being a little too obliging to the Australian team, they have done more than what a host country will do."

However Lalit Modi, the BCCI vice-president and RCA president, said it provided Rajasthan's players a chance to interact with members of the No. 1 Test team. "I don't see anything wrong in it. This is a unique year in that Australia had time on their hands with the cancellation of the Champions Trophy," Modi said. "I saw no reason to deny them.

"If we have time on hand and approach the Australians they will respond positively and provide us with top-class facilities at the Australian Centre of Excellence [in Brisbane]," Modi said. "I also look at it in another way. The Rajasthan boys preparing for the domestic Ranji season have got the chance to train with the world's best team free of cost."

Australia have been based in Jaipur since September 22, and play a two-day warm-up game against the RCA Centre of Excellence starting on the 27th.