England tour of India - Cricket: ~~No threat to One-dayers, option with players~~

Published: Monday, December 31, 2001, 1:26 [IST]
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London: The One-day series between India and England next month is not under threat following reports of a massive military build-up along India's border with Pakistan but the players have been given an option to pull out if they so desire."At the moment there is no reason to suppose that the tour is under threat," The England and Wales Cricket Board Chief Executive Tim Lamb told BBC Radio Five Live on Saturday."We would never knowingly send cricketers into an area of the world where they are at risk," Lamb said. "Two or three months ago we were saying we had to monitor the situation in light of September 11 attacks and now we'll have to keep a close eye on what is happening in Kashmir."But at the moment there is no reason to suppose that the tour is under threat," he said. Tension has mounted between India and Pakistan followingthe December 13 attack on Parliament in New Delhi.England is due to leave for the Indian tour, which includes six One-day internationals against India, on January 10 and Lamb said the Board would be in close consultation with the Foreign Office and the British High Commission ahead of the trip.However, England's players will have the option of withdrawing from the One-day series in India if they are concerned over the security situation, Lamb said. So far no one has indicated to Richard Bevan of the Professional Cricketers' Association, or to Lamb that he feels going to India is too dangerous, but the players are anxiously monitoring the developments.The three-Test tour to India before Christmas was given the green signal only after protracted negotiations as well as security assurances from India and despite these Robert Croft and Andrew Caddick decided not to go.Assurances were also made by ECB that the players' decision would not be held against them and in keeping with the promise, Caddick has been recalled for the six-match series in India and the five One-day Internationals in New Zealand. Graham Thorpe will also be in the squad that is to play the first match in Kolkata on January 19. Thorpe returned from India just before the second Test in Ahemdabad to sort out marital problems. PTI

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