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Published: Friday, November 16, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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London: England's cricket authorities could face losing more players from their squad for the upcoming cricket tour of India if they fail to satisfy demands made by The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA). [an error occurred while processing this directive]PCA official Tim O'Gorman, who travelled to India last week alongside John Carr, the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) director of cricket, put together the wish list which included a demand that both a full time security official and a senior ECB official accompany the squad throughout the two-month tour.England has already had to replace paceman Andy Caddick and spinner Robert Croft after both decided it was too risky to go on the tour with the military action going on against the Taleban in Afghanistan - anymore senior defections would place the tour in doubt as the Indians are loathe to play a second string team.Gorman included the demands in a report sent to all 16 members of the squad for India and the ECB, who must satisfy the recommendations."The ECB still has a lot of work to do. They must agree in writing to the various matters outlined in the report, and that in their opinion it is safe and that the tour can proceed," admitted O'Gorman on Monday."A senior member of the ECB must accompany the players for the entire duration of the tour and this ECB official must travel on the same planes and stay in the same hotels as the team."This provides support of the ECB's risk assessment and secondly, when decisions need to be made, this official can action them straight away without needing to seek committee approval in England which would take up valuable time."The PCA also wants improved security for the team with either a full-time officer or a team of people employed to both protect the players and investigate hotels in advance of the squad arriving."The ECB also needs to decide the exact nature of its security team, should it be a single individual or a group which would allow the main security official to stay with the team the entire time," added O'Gorman."This would enable that official employing someone he trusts to carry out reconnaissance work for areas the team is due to travel to."The demands are sure to increase the financial penalties onto the ECB, which normally relies on the home nation to provide security while top officials like chairman Lord MacLaurin or chief executive Tim Lamb normally only fly out for one Test each.Despite the nature of the PCA's demands, though, the ECB remains confident of satisfying them in the next few days and is believed to have already begun interviewing for a security officer."Both Tim and I came to similar conclusions during our visit to India and we are looking at writing to the players soon about the security arrangements," confirmed Carr.

Copyright AFP 2001

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