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August 17, 2006
Rahul Dravid has said that India's decision to remain in Sri Lanka following a bomb blast in Colombo on Monday was based on the assurances of safety given to them by the Sri Lankan government. While South Africa have pulled out of the Unitech Cup, India are staying back and will contest a three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka beginning on Friday.
South Africa's decision to leave was made after the ICC's independent security team assessed that "the current risk to the team" was at an "unacceptable level". However, Dravid did not have any qualms about India staying on.
"South Africa have gone by the recommendations of their people. We have spoken to the officials in the Sri Lankan board, the Sri Lankan government and the Indian High Commission," Dravid told PTI. "We have full confidence and faith in what they have to say and made our decision based on that."
Dravid said that the team was keen to play and was "probably worried more about the weather than the security".
"We share a good relationship with Sri Lankan cricket. These are difficult times and we cannot blame anyone. Hopefully we can bring some joy to the people here and they will have something to cheer about. Never did anyone come up and say that he wants to go home. Everyone is keen to play. Hopefully the weather will hold out from now on."
Mohammad Kaif was suffering from a fever that forced him to miss Wednesday's practice session but Dravid was confident that he would be fit for the first ODI on August 18. "He [Kaif] is good. He has two more days, I am confident he will be fully fit in time for the first match."
The second and third ODIs are scheduled for August 20 and 22.
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