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England's India tour still on, says ICC

Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2001, 23:47 [IST]
 
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Kuala Lumpur: The England tour to India in November is still on as far as the International Cricket Council (ICC) is concerned, a spokesman said in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday ahead of an Executive Board Meeting.
 "I have heard numerous rumours from so-called informed sources, which claim that England will not be travelling to India later in 2001," ICC communications manager Mark Harrison told AFP. "But as far as the ICC is concerned, this is entirely misleading. I can assure you that the ICC will not put any player at risk and therefore we are monitoring the situation in Afghanistan closely. "Both the English and Indian authorities are in constant contact and they have yet to inform us of any change in their plans." Doubts over the tour arose following the US strikes in nearby Afghanistan amidst fears of a backlash from Muslim fundamentalists. Harrison said if either country feels it would not be safe to play in India then they will issue a statement, "but for now, the ICC's stand is: everything is normal." Doubts over the tour, which involves three Tests and five One-day internationals, arose following the US strikes in nearby Afghanistan. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Lord MacLaurin said on Monday the tour would go ahead only if there was considerable improvement in the situation. Other tours planned near the volatile region are the Bangladesh home Tests against Pakistan in January, the Sharjah series involving Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe next month, the West Indies tour of Pakistan in 2002, Sri Lanka's One-day series with West Indies and Zimbabwe in December and the West Indies trip to Sri Lanka in November and Pakistan in February. The ICC is expected to address the question of shifting Pakistan's matches to neutral venues.

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