Former England captain Nasser Hussain hailed Kevin Pietersen and his teammates for not taking the easy option of running away and said they have done the right thing by agreeing to tour India despite the recent terror attacks in Mumbai. Opener Andrew Strauss claim that his teammates are happy to be returning to India, followed Nassers assertion.
The following are excerpts:
Ian Botham: I believe that if you dont go youre letting India down. I think its a matter of us all standing together, its not Indias problem, its a global problem.
India have bent over backwards, theyre desperate for England to go back, and I think we need to show some unity and hopefully continue life as normally as possible.
Its exactly the right attitude. It is common sense prevailing. What went on in Mumbai was hideous and horrendous but the best way to address it is for the players to go out there and play cricket.
We have had our own disasters over here. There have been atrocities going on all over the world and we cant give in to these people. We have to move forward.
Nasser Hussain: This is an excellent statement from the England team — the players standing shoulder to shoulder with the Indian people, rather than running away from a difficult situation. It would have been easy for them to take the soft option and say they were not returning to India after what happened in Mumbai but they have emphasised their togetherness as a team.
I hope there will be a minutes silence before the first Test and the players wear armbands because, really, that is what this Test series will be all about now. I hope the cricket will be hard fought but, to be honest, it will be incidental.
Andrew Strauss: To begin with there was a lot of shock and emotion as it seemed close to home. That was the hotel we stayed in before and we were due to again. When things like that happen, you think about being with your family and crickets not such a priority. But after a few days to let things settle down, weve been able to look at things logically and objectively — it seems the right thing to do for the game of cricket. The players Ive spoken to, have been in the same frame of mind as me. (agencies)