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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bomb Raises Security Fears, Australia Pulls Out of Match


SYDNEY -- Australia on Monday pulled out of its opening World Cup cricket match in Sri Lanka due to safety fears, and captain Mark Taylor conceded that the decision could see the team disqualified from the rest of the tournament.

Organizers rejected Australia's request to move its match out of the South Asian country because of a suicide bombing attack there that killed dozens of people.

"The cup's four matches in Sri Lanka will be played as per schedule," said Jagmohan Dalmiya, an official of the Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka Committee for the World Cup.

Dalmiya said the committee had received a request from the Australian Cricket Board to shift the venue of its tournament-opening Feb. 17 match against Sri Lanka out of the capital of Colombo to India or Pakistan.

"The Australian request was discussed at length by the committee over the last few days, and it was felt that the situation did not warrant a change of the venues of the matches scheduled to be played in Sri Lanka," Dalmiya said.

The game is the only one Australia was to have played in Sri Lanka.

The ACB said it was acting on players' security concerns following last Wednesday's bombing.

Taylor said he supported and was relieved by the ACB's decision. He and his players would be prepared to forfeit the match.

The five-week 12-nation tournament begins Feb. 14 with 37 matches scheduled. ()