December 04, 2008

England Cricket Tour to India

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England cricket tour is still hanging in the balance, even though the reactions suggest the tour might go ahead. The general feeling points that the security consultant Reg Dickason is comfortable with the arrangements in Chennai. Dickason is scheduled to visit Mohali later and he will also hold meetings with Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, and Sean Morris, the chief executive of England's Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA).

I personally feel that the tour must go on. While I respect the individual cricket player's decision, I think no place is in the world is safe now. Is United States of America safe? The act of terrorism on twin towers, known as 911 now, is not forgotten yet. Is London safe? The serial bombings in the underground trains will put that conclusion to doubt. Is Chennai safe? It was considered to be a "Peace Park" until the former Primer Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, was assasinated by a suicide bomber.

I am not concluding that safety and security should be compromised. We should not give place to complacency. But, at the same time, we should not let the terrorists achieve what they want. The terrorists want to implant the seeds of fear and insecurity among the citizens. If we allow that to happen, we are completely lost.

The Indian Government and the Indian cricket board should ensure all necessary safety precautions are taken and nothing should be left unattended. If this is going to cause some inconvenience to the general public, they will understand it is for their own good. Let us all stand united in this effort to resurrect the image of India.

I appreciate Andrew Strauss, the England opener, for showing his faith and expressing openly that the England cricket tour must go on. If other England cricket players understand his feelings, probably they too will feel comfortable.

The Indian cricket team is expected to be chosen today. Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead a full series for the first time. Yuvraj Singh is expected to come in place of the retired Sourav Ganguly. Gambhir is also expected to return to his opener's slot after serving out the one-match ban imposed during the Australia test match series.


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