Flintoff, Harmison likely to pull out of India Test seriesNovember 30th, 2008 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS
London, Nov 30 (IANS) England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and pacer Steve Harmison are likely to pull out of the two Test series against India following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.And with skipper Kevin Pietersen also indicating that he is not too keen to return to India, England will be without their several senior players for the Test series in Ahmedabad and Chennai beginning Dec 11 and Dec 19 respectively, reports The Daily Telegraph.
The daily also said that besides Harmison and Flintoff, another bowler in the squad of 15 is also expected to pull out in the next two days, citing family as the prime consideration.
Hugh Morris, managing director of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), said Saturday there would be no penalties on the players if they decide to pull out.
“Provided we have a safe and secure environment we’ll be definitely going back for the Tests. If somebody felt strongly (about not going), I wouldn’t force their arm. That’s something they will need to decide in the coming days,” Morris was quoted as saying.
The ECB will soon meet to discuss the security issues, but it is a virtual certainty that security experts will allow England to play the two Tests.
They have already approved Chennai as a venue for the Champions League, which was also postponed after terror attacks in Mumbai.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that no request for an independent security assessment had been made by the ECB or the Indian board.
It is expected that England will practise either in Dubai or more likely in Abu Dhabi, then fly directly from there to Ahmedabad for the first Test.
England were scheduled to play a three-day game in Baroda beginning Friday before the terrorist attacks forced the cancellation of the last two one-day internationals and prompted them to fly home.