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Australia dismiss reports of vandalism by its athletes

October 15, 2010 17:47 IST
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Australia dismissed as "fantasy" and "baseless" reports that its sportspersons indulged in vandalism at the Commonwealth Games Village after their cricket team suffered a crushing defeat in the second Test against India.

"It is factually wrong, insulting to Australia's athletes and can only be described as a fantasy," read a statement from the Australian High Commission on Friday.

- Commonwealth Games 2010

There were indeed some "spirited" celebrations involving the Australian team and a number of other teams at the athletes' village, it said, noting that the athletes were enjoying their stay in Delhi and celebrating their achievements in the Games.

"We can confirm that in the course of those celebrations a washing machine was damaged, though it remains unclear who did the damage, what their nationality was, and whether it was deliberate or accidental," the statement said.

However, it said, to suggest that this was a reaction to Australia's loss in the second Test was completely baseless.

"The Australian team's celebration had nothing to do with the cricket, or India, or Sachin Tendulkar. Indeed Sachin Tendulkar enjoys enormous respect and affection in Australia. He won the second Test for India.

"A recent online poll in Australia's Sydney Morning Herald voted Sachin Tendulkar the greatest batsman ever. Australians ranked him ahead of Don Bradman which is saying something," the statement said.

The High Commission noted that Australia sent its biggest team ever to the Delhi edition of the Games and athletes embraced India and left with wonderful experiences of the people and places that make Delhi the great city that it is.

"They were very grateful for the welcoming hand that India has extended," it added.

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