Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ex-England captains say team should play Tests

Former captains Bob Willis and David Gower have joined Ian Botham and Mike Atherton in urging the English team to return to India and play the two-Test series next month. Willis and Gower backed the decision to abandon the one-day series but felt if England do not return to India for the two Tests the same treatment could be meted out to them by visiting sides when such a situation arises in the country.

“If India is deemed safe before first Test in Ahmedabad on December 11 and the second in Chennai, they should go and play. Otherwise no one will come to England — teams will say we are as much a terrorist target as any country. I hope that within a fortnight, things will have settled down,” Willis said. On Friday, former captains Ian Botham and Mike Atherton had urged ECB to continue the Test series.

Willis gave an example of the England squad, including himself, continuing to tour India in 1984-85 when former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated. “England players stayed on in 1984-85 when Mrs Gandhi and Percy Norris, the deputy British High Commissioner, were assassinated.

But I can understand reluctance of any cricketer to go into areas where there have been terrorist attacks. As Westerners are being targeted, it is sensible for the team to leave,” Willis was quoted as saying by ‘The Times’.

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