Blackburn to tour India next month

MUMBAI - Blackburn Rovers will visit India early next month, having cancelled their July trip at the last minute following blasts in Mumbai, the Indian owners of the English Premier League side said on Monday.

Blackburn, owned by Indian poultry giants Venky's, had postponed their pre-season visit to Pune after three near-simultaneous bomb blasts during the evening rush hour in the country's financial capital killed more than 20 people.

The club would become the first Premier League side to tour the country on October 5-7, during a break in the English fixtures, for a friendly in Pune, about 200km from Mumbai, where the owners are based.

"Security is paramount but so is our commitment to bringing Blackburn Rovers to India," Venky's director Balaji Rao said in a statement on Monday.

"And perhaps the visit now could not have been better timed. The club is riding on a high after its big win over Arsenal, and the players are eager to share the glory with their Indian fans."

Blackburn, who last won the Premier League in 1995, came back from behind to beat Arsenal 4-3 to pick up their first league win after a poor start to the season.