Pietersen not to put any pressure on team matesNovember 29th, 2008 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS
London, Nov 29 (IANS) England cricket captain Kevin Pietersen said that he won’t put any undue pressure on his players to opt out of the next month Test series in India.Pietersen has urged both the English and the Indian cricket board to ignore financial issues before deciding whether to restart the tour in the wake of terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which claimed 162 lives.
The English team flew back Saturday morning via Bangalore after cutting short the seven-match One-day series following the Mumbai mayhem. The players are reluctant to come back for the Test series even as both the boards decided to go ahead with the series.
The England team was booked at the Taj Mahal Hotel for the last Test match, which has now been shift to Chennai, that was under siege during the 59-hour ordeal. The team kit for the Test matches had been left in the Taj and was due to be collected after the one-day series.
“I think the BCCI will make every single effort to get us back playing Tests in India because of TV rights, finances and so on. At the end of the day they run world cricket, so we will see what happens. But we will not come back if it is unsafe. My life means more to me than anything else, and I can totally understand if individual players have misgivings. I am not going to force any adult who has a wife and kids to do anything,” Pietersen was quoted as saying by The Times.
Before flying back the team held meetings Thursday at the hotel in Bhubaneshwar, where the fifth ODI was played.
“We thought the best thing to do was to get back to our friends and family, where all our relatives know we are safe. All of the guys ran out of power on their mobile phones on Thursday through calls to friends and relatives. Kids were asking, ‘Daddy, where are you, what’s the story?,” Pietersen added.
“It is a real situation for us and we have bought some time with this decision. Now, all we want is go home because of what we’ve seen. Mumbai was the place we were happiest on tour. The time we spent there was lovely, the way of life in Mumbai is fantastic that way of life, which is the best way of life in India, has now gone.”
Hugh Morris, the managing director of England Cricket, has told the players that safety and security will be the sole issues in determining any decision. He is concerned, however, that the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may have a bigger picture in focus.