England should return back to play Tests: Botham

London, Nov 28 (UNI) Former captains Ian Botham and Mike Atherton believe that it would be a shame for the England team if they do not return back to India for the Test series as scheduled and backed ECB's decision to call back its team after terrorists attacks in Mumbai.

''Terrorism is something that we as a world need to stand up against and fight. It is sadly something we've got to live with and we have done so in places like England and India for many years,'' Botham said.

''As far as England's cricket tour goes, they have to take advice from the people around them but I think it would be a crying shame if they are forced to call things off at the hands of terrorists,'' Botham wrote in his column for the Mirror.

''We don't succumb to it in England and I do believe that if the team have the assurances of safety and security then why shouldnt they play?'' he added.

The former England captain also praised the ECB's decision not to call off the complete tour and go ahead with the Tests despite the terrorists attack in Mumbai.

''It is a difficult time for the England squad and they will feel uneasy about what has happened. I can understand why they will head home and take stock for a few days, but the news that they are planning on returning to play the Tests is encouraging.

''We have to remember what happened in 2005 when a bomb went of in England during the Ashes tour, but the Australians remained and continued with their series,'' Botham said.

''Our cricket team is full of character and now they will get a chance to clear their heads before the Test series is scheduled to begin,'' he said.

Mike Atherton said England's decision to cancel the ODI series and return home was understandable under the prevailing conditions in India but the former captain was also hopeful that the Test series would go ahead as per the schedule.

''Understandably, cricketers decided yesterday that they didn't want much to do with it all. The one-day series was abandoned and the senior players, as well as the development squad, will come home.

''So while it may seem inappropriate to say so right now, I hope the Test series in two weeks' time can still go ahead. Unless the Foreign Office advice is to stay at home, it shall certainly be going,'' he said.


Story first published: Friday, November 28, 2008, 17:42 [IST]
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