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Sydney Controversy: 'It's time for cool heads to prevail'


Posted: Jan 08, 2008 at 1612 hrs IST

Melbourne, January 8:: Cricket diplomacy was at play on Tuesday to calm tensions between the Indian and Australian teams with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd urging cricket authorities to settle the matter "at the first available opportunity."

Rudd's cabinet colleague Foreign Minister Stephen Smith also joined the efforts to soothe the frayed nerves when he said it is time for "cool heads" to prevail.

Smith affirmed that the tensions following the controversy-ridden Sydney Cricket Test will not hurt relations between the two countries.

Both Rudd and Smith are avid cricket fans with the Premier even making his appearance in the commentary box during the course of the Sydney Test. Rudd had expressed his desire to visit India and hoped the trip would coincide with cricket matches between India and Australia.

Smith said it was not up to him to advise either team or cricketing authorities but was confident the issue would not hurt bilateral relations.

"I don't see any problems in the relationship arising through the Test series," Smith told reporters in Perth.

"Ties will survive crisis. It is time for cool heads to prevail," he said.

The Foreign Minister said this was just part of the ups and downs of cricket.

"I don't see, in the end, anything occurring out of the current Australia-India series other than, in the end, cricket being the winner," he said.

"And in the end, Australia and India, both through cricket and generally, will continue a very warm and friendly and strong relationship," Smith said.

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