Pietersen mulling India return (Lead)November 30th, 2008 - 6:22 pm ICT by IANS
London, Nov 30 (IANS) England captain Kevin Pietersen has apparently made up his mind to return to India for the two-Test series starting Dec 11, according to media reports here.But his enthusiasm to play in India is not shared by some of his team mates. Andrew Flintoff and pacer Steve Harmison are likely to pull out of the series.
The English team decided to cut short the seven-match ODI series after the terror attacks in Mumbai and arrived here Saturday night.
But both the England and the Indian cricket board have mutually agreed to go ahead with the Test series. The venue for the first Test has been shifted from Mumbai to Chennai.
Pietersen initially was reluctant to come back to India.
The Daily Mail reported Sunday that the English captain has apparently made up his mind and confirmed Saturday night that he would return to India provided England got full assurances over their security.
In another report, The Daily Telegraph 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 said.
The ECB will soon meet to discuss the security issues, but it is a virtual certainty that 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 has been made by the ECB or BCCI.