England tour of India - News - Cricket: ECB chief confident 5 players will opt for India

Published: Monday, October 29, 2001, 0:00 [IST]
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London: English cricket chief Tim Lamb is optimistic the five Test players mulling over whether to tour India will all opt to travel. Craig White, Andrew Caddick, Ashley Giles, Marcus Trescothick and Robert Croft have all asked for more time before reaching a decision on the India trip.But Lamb, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), told BBC Radio Five Live he was confident the waverers would declare themselves available."I am still hopeful that all 16 players will confirm their availability," he said on Sunday. "Having given the players extra time to talk the situation through with their families I am sure we will have 100 per cent."I would be disappointed if anyone pulled out but we have to respect the wishes of the individual. If they pull out, we will find others to go in their place. It won't jeopardise their future chances of selection, however."That would be most unfair as this is a unique situation. But we need a decision sooner rather than later. We have liaised regularly with Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London and with the British High Commission in Delhi," he said.Meanwhile, former Pakistan captain Imran Khan joined the debate on Sunday, saying he was puzzled over the players' reservations. "Why should it not be safe?" he said. "There is no war in India. I fail to understand what the problem is. The chances of anything happening in India are the same as something happening in England next summer, virtually nothing."So I can't believe the stuff I am reading that cricketers don't want to go. Why would anyone be threatened in India? Perhaps people looking at TV and the papers can be spooked out. But the reality is different."I don't even feel worried in Pakistan. So why should anyone be worried in India," he said.

Copyright AFP 2001


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