Monday, December 1, 2008

Swann too reluctant to tour India

After Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff, England spinner Graeme Swann too has developed cold feet and is reluctant to tour India following the terror strikes in Mumbai.

Swann said though he has full faith on security adviser Reg Dickason, who is yet to give a go-ahead to the tour, he was not particularly keen on returning to India for the two-match Test series.

"I wouldn`t be 100 per cent happy with going back, you know," the off-spinner said.

"There`s a security report being compiled and I have every faith in Reg Dickason, if he comes back saying, `Look guys, it`s safe, we can go back there, we can do some good and get playing sport` then I would go. But until that report comes back, certainly at the minute, I`m not that keen, to be honest," the player told reporters.

Incidentally, pacer James Anderson is also likely to stay back to be with his pregnant wife.

Swann admitted, for a spinner trying to cement his place in the side, skipping the India tour might jeopardise his prospect but said cricket lost its importance to him after the Mumbai terror strikes.

"Obviously it`s tricky for people like myself who are trying to forge a regular place in the team. It comes down to thinking, `If I don`t go will I miss out on future selection` and stuff like that, which sort of clouds the issue a little bit. It`s certainly not an easy decision to make and not one that anyone will be enjoying.”

"You could potentially do some good, but you`ve got to weigh that up against and factor in, if it is still dangerous, what good are you going to do if you`re just providing another target," said the Nottinghamshire spinner.

"It (cricket) didn`t feel very important to me personally in the past few days. As I said the scenes we were watching were just harrowing and, you know, the last thing on your mind was playing cricket. The Test match was due to start in 10-14 days and that`s a long time in anything, so we`ll see how the dust is going to settle. Personally, to me, it seems pretty volatile over there at the moment," said Swann.

Harmison had earlier made it clear that he would not return to India and also questioned those urging the team to go ahead with the tour.

"The idea of being asked to go back out there is the last thing on my mind," Harmison said.

"It`s all very well for people back home to say we should carry on with the tour, but none of what has happened has anything to do with cricket. How anyone can say we should be carrying on with the tour in these circumstances is beyond me," he said.

England to return on Dec 3; first Test match at Chennai

England’s cricket tour of India resumed again when it was confirmed on Monday that the squad would come back to play the Test match series. The team would return on 3rd December.

The schedule of venues would be changed due to revised security guidelines. The first Test would be held at Chennai instead of Ahmedabad while the venue of the second Test would be shifted from Mumbai to Mohali.

BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan said in a media release that England have agreed to resume their tour of India that was halted after the first five ODIs were completed following the terror attack in Mumbai.

However, the final word on the tour would be given only after the England and Wales Cricket Board send their security consultant for discussions with the authorities in India.

England were originally scheduled to play the Test matches at Ahmedabad and Mumbai before the Mumbai terror attack.

The three-day tour match scheduled prior to the commencement of the two-match rubber has been cancelled, he added.