Australia voice World Cup fear

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The Independent Online
Australia could forfeit their first World Cup match rather than travel to Sri Lanka, where nearly 60 people died and 1,400 were hurt in yesterday's bomb attack.

Michael Slater said he believes Australia will refuse to play their first match against Sri Lanka in Colombo on 17 February. The explosion occurred close to the hotel where the Australian team is due to stay for the first week of the 12-team tournament.

He said it was possible other teams also would refuse to play in Sri Lanka, forcing tournament organizers to reschedule those games. "I think that's the likely scenario," the opener said in a television interview in Australia.

He said the Australian players would be guided by their cricket board, which is in regular contact with authorities in Colombo and is seeking further information on the bombing.

Two other matches are due to be played in Colombo: Sri Lanka v West Indies on 25 February and Sri Lanka v Kenya on 6 March.