One-day tour is not in doubt, say England

Click to follow
The Independent Online

England's cricket authorities have said that the one-day leg of the tour to India is not under threat, despite the prospect of military action in the region.

England's cricket authorities have said that the one-day leg of the tour to India is not under threat, despite the prospect of military action in the region.

India and Pakistan are massing troops and artillery near the disputed border territory of Kashmir, after a suicide attack on the Indian parliament in Delhi was blamed on a Kashmiri militant group. England are due to leave for the tour, which includes six one-day internationals, on 10 January.

"We would never knowingly send cricketers into an area of the world where they are at risk," the England and Wales Cricket Board's chief executive Tim Lamb said. "Two or three months ago we were saying we had to monitor the situation in light of 11 September 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."

The ECB will be in close consultation with the Foreign Office and the British High Commission ahead of the trip. The same policy was followed when military strikes on Afghanistan threatened the Test portion of the tour. Current Foreign Office advice states that travellers should avoid all parts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The England Test squad suffered from withdrawals before departure in November. Andrew Caddick did not go to India because of safety fears following the terrorist attacks on the United States in September but he has now decided it is safe enough to take part in the six-match one-day series. Graham Thorpe had put his participation in the one-day series in India, and the following visit to New Zealand, in doubt after quitting the Test series in India to sort out his marriage problems.

But both players confirmed on Saturday that they would take part in the one-day series. "We were a little bit depleted on the first leg of our tour to India," said Lamb. "And any team that includes Graham Thorpe and Andrew Caddick is obviously a stronger England team so it's good news."

Meanwhile, the all-rounder Craig White fears England's chances of success in the next World Cup could be hit by their gruelling schedule which will see them on international duty for 250 days in the next year.

England face a one-day series in India followed by a tour to New Zealand. India and Sri Lanka visit in the summer for Test matches, followed by an autumn trip to Bangladesh for the ICC Trophy. That is followed by an Ashes tour in Australia and the World Cup in South Africa.

"We have a short break when we get back from New Zealand, but not much. And from May onwards it's virtually non-stop playing," White said. "At the end of it you've got the most important one-day tournament in the game.

"I wouldn't be surprised if one or two guys suffer from a bit of burn-out."

Comments