ICC president backs England’s return to India

December 3rd, 2008 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 3 (IANS) International Cricket Council (ICC) president David Morgan has backed England’s tour to India while lambasting Geoffrey Boycott and sections of English press who argued for its postponement.Former England captain Boycott and other critics were of the view that the two-Test series in India should be put on hold until India has had time to mourn.

Morgan said the business implications of even a short suspension of international cricket in India could be far-reaching.

“I know Mr Boycott is saying that players will be in an inappropriate state of mind, but it’s the same, if not worse, for the Indian players,” Morgan was quoted as saying in Daily Telegraph.

“We have to think of the business of cricket as well as the game of cricket. The terrorists cannot be allowed to win.”

“If the England team chose to withdraw despite receiving the all-clear, it would not just damage India - it would damage England too. In terms of reputation, and perhaps in terms of financial reparations as well.”

“India’s contribution to world cricket is extremely important and it would be disastrous if India were seen to be unsafe for international cricket.”

Morgan also hit back at British media for criticising the ECB’s move to send players to India.

“I have seen British writers criticising the England and Wales Cricket Board for wanting to return while the disaster is still ‘raw’ in India - to use Geoffrey Boycott’s expression,” Morgan said.

“It is quite clear that the people who run cricket in India want the game to resume as soon as possible. Would not we want the same here if the boot was on the other foot?” Morgan asked.

“I think it’s staggering when British journalists suggest that it is inappropriate to go because India needs to have time to mourn. Would we take that from Indian or Australian journalists? Of course we would not.”

Morgan said he hoped Reg Dickason, the ECB security consultant, would report back positively on security arrangements in the two changed Test venues –Chennai and Mohali.

Morgan said the safety and security of the cricketers is of the utmost importance.

“If Dickason says it is not safe, the players are not going to go and the ICC will have to decide whether it agrees with Dickason or the BCCI. Time is short for an independent assessment to be made but that is what will have to happen. I hope things will not reach that point.

“It is not my style to interfere in what the ECB are doing, but I am very confident they are doing the best they can.”

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