A former Indian cricket captain has called for athletes to boycott the Delhi Commonwealth Games, suggesting the event should be shifted to Australia or Canada later in the year.

Bishen Bedi, who captained India in the 1970s, says there is little or no chance that facilities will be completed by the October 3 opening ceremony.

"It is an absolute embarrassment," Bedi told Australia's Courier Mail.

"The Games are completely in the doghouse. I am yet to be convinced they will happen because there are so many things that won't be done.

"I honestly believe they would be better transferring them to somewhere like Canada or Australia even at this late date.

The completion of venues is not the only problem for Games organisers with security still being touted as a major issue.

Athletes' Federation boss Rob Nichol told the Herald last week that "hand on heart" he could not say whether New Zealand would send a team.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee will send officials to Delhi on September 12 for an advanced look at facilities during a lockdown of the Games' venues and village.

Even if Games' security gets a thumbs up from the NZOC, whether or not there will be completed facilities is the major concern for Bedi.

Bedi, who played 67 tests for India from 1966 to 1979, is famous for speaking his mind, once threatening to dump the Indian team in the sea when he was coach in 1990.

The former spin bowler says recent monsoon rain has caused havoc with the preparations and can't see the venues getting finished in time.




"They could not do any worse even with a month's notice. Some venues are so far behind schedule they would be dangerous to compete at.

"If I was an athlete, I wouldn't bother turning up. I would stay away.

"There are venues which should have been started in 2003 that were started last year. Barely any of them are finished.

"Traffic has always been bad in Delhi but now it has gone to another level of madness in the inner city. With the monsoon rain we have had, and all the construction issues we have had, it is impossible to get through. The roads are a mess.

"India is going to lose a lot of credibility out of this. There was so much corruption going on that they just have not thought this through. The outside world don't realise how badly prepared we are."

- NZHERALD STAFF