England has shown spunk by agreeing to tour India: Roebuck

December 7th, 2008 - 2:00 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 7 (ANI): England’’s decision to return to India to play two Test matches, a fortnight after the terrible terror attacks in Mumbai commands respect for two reasons, says noted cricket commentator Peter Roebuck.

According to Roebuck, first, it shows that captain Kevin Pietersen can lead a team through a crisis, and second, England’’s willingness to go back, makes the long-awaited split on racial lines less likely.

In his article for the Sydney Morning Herald, Roebuck contrasts this with the lack of spunk shown by the Australians, saying that cricketers from Down Under “have repeatedly turned to jelly in the face of arbitrary danger.”

He also says that the Kiwis are also of the same ilk, cancelling a match in Kenya because a security man said the traffic lights were not working.

South Africa, he says, have been equally timid, rushing home from Colombo even as sportsmen from others nations arrived and schoolboys from their own country urged their masters to let them stay.

Senior players once wanted to call off a tour after a bomb went off in an empty warehouse in Karachi.

To be fair, the Proteas held their nerve on their previous trip to Pakistan. As well they might, coming from a country with the second-highest murder rate in the world.

In his view, the England cricketers have displayed some of their famed old-fashioned stiff upper lip, though it could not been easy for them to agree to return so soon after watching the horror in Mumbai unfold on television.

“At such times thoughts turn to families and friends, and the walls seem to be closing in. Suddenly, money and sport do not seem to matter all that much. Accordingly, it did not come as a surprise to find England hurrying home. And it must have been pleasant to be back watching familiar programs, sitting in the customary armchair, fooling around with the dog, following the fortunes of Doncaster Rovers or some other football side, and all the other delights sportsmen sacrifice for a life on the road,” says Roebuck.

Roebuck also believes that the decision to change the venues of the Test matches is spot on and sensible. (ANI)

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