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Six England players could pull out of India tour

London, Dec.3 : At least six of England cricketers, who landed with the team in Mumbai last month, are likely to pull out of the tour to India, even as the ECB awaits an Indian Government assurance that the team will be guarded by crack commandos.

All rounder Andrew Flintoff and fast bowler Steve Harmison are thought to harbour major reservations about the trip. Fast bowler Ryan Sidebottom is out with an injury, and the other three who don't want go, have not been named, former England fast bowler Dominic Cork says a majority of the team is pretty traumatized by last week's terror attacks in Mumbai.

A decision on the tour is to be made later today. According to The Telegraph, the squad will fly on Thursday to Abu Dhabi where they are expected to play a warm-up match before proceeding to India for the first Test, which is due to begin on December 11.

The paper says that the visitors will get "presidential-level" security and an emergency evacuation plan should there be another terrorist attack.

The ECB and the Professional Cricketers' Association are still locked in talks with the Foreign Office.

The players will make their final decision in Abu Dhabi after reviewing a security report prepared by ECB security expert Reg Dickason.

Story first published: Wednesday, December 3, 2008, 16:08 [IST]
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