Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Hailed as They Decide Show Must Go on; 1.going for It: Skipper Kevin Pietersen and Bowler Steve Harmison, at Practice in Abu Dhabi, Will Be Turning out in India This Week 2.united We Sit: Contrary to Earlier Speculation, Andrew Flintoff, Right, and Steve Harmison Have Both Decided to Put Team Unity Ahead of Any Fears for Their Own Safety

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Hailed as They Decide Show Must Go on; 1.going for It: Skipper Kevin Pietersen and Bowler Steve Harmison, at Practice in Abu Dhabi, Will Be Turning out in India This Week 2.united We Sit: Contrary to Earlier Speculation, Andrew Flintoff, Right, and Steve Harmison Have Both Decided to Put Team Unity Ahead of Any Fears for Their Own Safety

Article excerpt

Byline: David Lloyd

AFULL contingent of England Test cricketers will arrive here this evening to be greeted by a newspaper headline declaring: 'Flintoff, Harmison likely to pull out'.

In the end, though, there were no dramas or withdrawals in the Middle East last night with Kevin Pietersen and the bulk of his squad heading for India with only Ryan Sidebottom heading in the opposite direction because of injury.

But, as this morning's story in the Indian Express indicates, doubts remained right up until England managing director Hugh Morris announced there had been a unanimous decision to travel together and play two Tests which, a week or so ago, seemed certain to be cancelled in the wake of the terrorist attack on Mumbai.

Morris has played a blinder over the last few days taking Pietersen and Co back home when emotions were raw, then persuading them to transfer to Abu Dhabi while he carried out safety checks in partnership with Professional Cricketers' Association chief executive Sean Morris and security advisor Reg Dickason.

Flintoff and Harmison were said to be the two men most likely to pull out but every member of the party will have had concerns at one time or another.

England's players are unlikely to be disappointed by the level of security when they do arrive here.

Their hotel which they will share with India's cricketers was teeming with police and military personnel this morning.

They can expect to be whisked through the airport and taken along closed-off roads to their city base where, it is said, they will have a floor to themselves.

And a unit of commandos is likely to be with them every step of the way from tonight until they leave India on Christmas Eve.

Some may still debate whether it is too soon to start playing cricket again in a country still badly shaken by the horrific events of less than fortnight ago while others will question the point of trying to entertain in a military camp atmosphere.

But, crucially, India seems to want this short series to go ahead, the wider world of cricket is in favour and England's players are willing to return. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.