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Sunday, 18 May 2008

Warne, Watson could leave IPL after bombings

Dominic Brock

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Shane Warne | AAP

15/05/2008 7:54:00 AM.

Australian stars Shane Warne and Shane Watson may leave the Indian Premier League after an estimated 80 people were killed in terrorist bombings in Jaipur on Tuesday night.

Rajasthan Royals teammates Warne, Watson and Graeme Smith and team manager Darren Berry are refusing to return to Jaipur – the team’s home city – and are considering leaving the country altogether.

Eight bombs were set of simultaneously during peak-hour among crowded markets, leaving about 80 dead and 200 injured.

Berry, the former Victorian wicket-keeper, described the situation as “terrifying”.

“[There’s] a real option of getting on the plane and getting out of here,” he told Fairfax.

“We are not comfortable at all. This is an extremely uncomfortable situation.

“Cricket has been good to me, but I have a wife and three kids back in Melbourne and they are less than impressed with the part of the world I am in.

“I was talking to Warnie this morning and asked, ‘If this blast had occurred a day before we were due to fly over here, would we still have come?’, he said there was no way we would have come.

“It is terrifying. To think I was standing in the exact location the bombs went off only two days ago … it was a couple of kilometres from the team hotel.

“The whole country has gone into lockdown.”

Although IPL boss Lalit Modi has insisted extra security will be provided for the duration of the tournament, there are no plans to delay future matches. The Royals are set to host a match in Jaipur this Saturday.

“That is the part that scares me,” Berry said.

“These games are getting big crowds. People over here tell me this has nothing to do with cricket, it is political … but if some people are prepared to cause this type of damage, detonating bombs in peak-hour to harm the most number of people possible … 50,000 people come to the stadium to watch the games.”
 

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