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England cricketers to bunk India tour

Published: Thursday, December 7, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London: England's cricket tour of India next winter faces a crisis after several players, currently touring Pakistan, reportedly expressed unhappiness about spending a second Christmas in the subcontinent. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is considering the protest by the players. However, an official spokesman for the ECB told IANS that at the moment the tour stands as scheduled. England is to play three Test matches in India in 2001-2002 before leaving for a tour of New Zealand. Several players are opposed to the India tour, complaining of the tour being too stressful and the pay too little. Some players had earlier protested the India tour and the complaints have been reinforced with the Pakistan tour. The England cricketers have succeeded already in vetoing a tour of Bangladesh. Former captain Alec Stewart has formally told the ECB he will not be touring India, and Michael Atherton is considering retiring after the Ashes series against Australia next summer. That would rob England of their two key batsmen, though both have failed to perform on recent times, especially on the last tour of India that the hosts won 3-0. Three other cricketers, Graham Thorpe, Andrew Caddick and Darren Gough, have also complained against the India tour next year. Local reports suggest the ECB is considering separate teams for Tests and One-day Internationals to relive the pressure off the players. India Abroad News Service

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