Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson, Baptist minister and cricket chaplain, considers that ultimately, there was little choice but to offer such advice, otherwise the entire world's sporting endeavours would be held to ransom by 'threats of one kind or another'.
Some of the Australian cricketers involved in the IPL (Indian Premier League) had reconsidered whether they would go; but not fast bowler Shaun Tate who said he'd been waiting too long to have a crack at the IPL after having two years off cricket.
As would be expected, there was somewhat of a division between the freelance cricketers whose major income course is the IPL and those under contract to Cricket Australia, whose caution was more pronounced.http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/marsh-rejects-martyn-double-standards-claim-20100225-p5yj.html
Having said that, reports last week detailed that the Indian security plans relating to the safety of athletes and officials who will be attending the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi had been stolen. This has created additional worry.
Other sporting teams have made a range of different decisions, depending on their managers' individual reading of the security threats.
Tennis Australia is taking no chances, and has announced that they had already cancelled their Davis Cup tie as it was being held in India. Their security consultants have recommended their tennis players stay away from India, even though this means they have forfeited the match.
An Australian Shooting Team was in New Delhi in their own international competition without any security hiccups.
The Kookaburras (The Australian Hockey team) arrived in New Delhi last week for the World Cup which started last Sunday, 28 February, with tight personal security for the players. http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/ipl-pullout-looms-as-kookas-fly-20100221-onyx.html
Ric Charlesworth, the Kookaburra coach, has already been quoted previously by this writer as having stated that he has lived in India and knows that threats are a common feature of life in India, publicised by the 80 television stations that need to report 'something'. He is certainly aware of the threatening situation, and is being cautious but optimistic that the World Cup will be peaceful.
However, Mark Tronson points out that the IPL is a different situation because fixtures are all over India. This involves the players travelling by many flights, to different cities and motels, taking numerous buses from motel to the grounds, and needing to familiarise themselves with differences at each ground.
The Commonwealth Games situation is different again. Athletes from across the Commonwealth of Nations will be coming together for a sports celebration. Sadly, for some, this has a political agenda.
To give some support to the athletes, there will be Chaplains in the accommodation Villages (as in the Olympics), whose task will inevitably be to reassure the athletes and officials.
Although those of us in western societies are remarkably blessed by living in a free and peaceful society, many of these chaplains will understand what the athletes are going through.
They will be able to advise them on how to cope with the stress of violence and threats, as some Christians face persecution every day as they go about their activities in their own countries, sometimes with threats to their lives. http://www.ea.org.au/default.aspx?id=664f3311-2cb1-4b0b-b3fb-bec670898303