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Cricket Australia suspends Mumbai travel

Cricket Australia has suspended all travel to India while it takes security advice on the terrorist attacks on Mumbai.

Australian cricketers Shane Warne, Shane Watson, Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey were due to join teams from Western Australia and Victoria in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 tournament next week.

Warne had already departed for India to join his Rajasthan Royal teams, and is understood to be in Singapore awaiting advice on whether it is safe to continue his journey.

The Victorian and Western Australian teams were due to depart for India on Saturday, and the Victorians are understood to be booked into the Taj Mahal Hotel on Mumbai's Colaba tourist strip. The Taj was a primary target in Wednesday's attacks, and terrorists are currently holding foreign hostages in the hotel.

Australian squad members Hayden, Hussey and Peter Siddle were due to leave for Mumbai on Wednesday, however CA has suspended all travel plans following Wednesday night's attacks. English representatives due to participate in the Champions League are also reviewing the security situation, raising the possibility that the Champions League may be postponed.

"We are in ongoing contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, our own security experts, the Australian Cricketers' Association and our own playing groups," said a CA spokesman. "In circumstances like these it always takes at least 12 hours for details to emerge, and we will review all infomation available.

"Given the circumstances, CA has put a hold on all CA-related travel to India."

The Champions League is scheduled to open with a match between Victoria and Middlesex at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium on December 3. The Victorians are due to play the Chennai Super Kings - which includes Hayden and Hussey - at the same venue the following day, while Warne and Watson are scheduled to play for the Rajasthan Royals at the Brabourne Stadium on December 5.

The primary target of Wednesday's terrorist attack, the Taj Mahal hotel on Mumbai's Colaba tourist strip, is regularly frequented by Australian teams. Australia's one-day squad stayed at the Taj during last year's bi-lateral tournament in India.

The England cricket team is currently playing a one-day series in India, and Middlesex, the reigning English domestic Twenty20 champions, are currently considering

"It is very early to make any knee-jerk decision," Shaun Udal, the Middlesex captain, told the Daily Telegraph in London. "The phone has been ringing non-stop with the players wanting to know what is going to happen. We don't know if it is cricket-related or not but it is an enormous coincidence."

BCCI officials said it was too early to comment on the situation.

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