Mike Holmans December 4, 2008

Unsafe is the new safe

What 9/11 did to us all was make it clear that nowhere can be completely safe
39

In a city which endured 25 years of an IRA bombing campaign as well as the bus bombs of 7/7, I know what it is to live with the shadow of terrorism over one’s home town.

We carried on playing cricket even in London despite explosions, and India is a vast country compared to ours. A bomb in London is an unlikely pretext for calling off an event in Rome, though Rome is nearer London than Chennai to Mumbai. On the other hand, none of our atrocities were on the scale of the Mumbai massacre, nor were they targeted at a specific group of foreign visitors.

Whether the Indian authorities, let alone the British Foreign Office or the ECB’s security advisor, would consider the India v England cricket matches to be safe to continue with, I could not know from thousands of miles away. I somewhat envy those who were able to sound off on air and in print with the certainty so many arguing both for staying at home and flying back to India displayed, but I did not feel able to post. It’s a relief that a revised series is going ahead: it’s what I had hoped for, but galumphing on people’s sensibilities by saying so without any worthwhile understanding of the circumstances just seemed tasteless or downright rude.

It’s hard to remember in the immediate aftermath of an atrocity, but a billion Indians and the entire English cricket touring party survived the Mumbai massacre completely unharmed. While one square mile was the scene of death and destruction, nothing out of the ordinary happened in over three million other square miles in the country.

The evil is impossible to ignore but, coldly looked at, it really is extremely unlikely that the next attack will hit an India v England Test match, of all the possible targets available.

What 9/11 did to us all was make it clear that nowhere can be completely safe. Whether we are going on holiday or business (and you can choose for yourself which category playing Test cricket comes into), we have a non-zero chance of arriving at the scene of a terrorist incident wherever we go. There is also a non-zero chance that the plane will crash, but we don’t stop flying because plane crashes are unpredictable as to where they will strike and usually cause enormous loss of life.

India is a riskier place than it was. There will probably be a next attack in India, just as there is almost certain to be one in Britain because London especially is an outrage venue currently fashionable in terrorist circles.

But we now live in an age where risk has to be assessed and managed since it cannot be eliminated. It’s unfortunate that men like Reg Dickason are the crucial decision-makers on whether tours should proceed, but it is inevitable. Sometimes trouble-spots will be too hot to go to, but it will always depend on the exact circumstances pertaining at the time. And even if the security consultants give their blessing, the caveats that they will inevitably attach to some reports will fail to persuade the odd player, which will be regrettable but not a cause for derision or condemnation.

We do not yet know whether the original party England selected will go. I shall not be surprised if one or two opt out, whether because they themselves are scared or they cannot bear inflicting heartache and worry on their families by being away in a dangerous place. Having lived through years of bombs in my home city, I would have few qualms about going, but if others do not share such a robust attitude, well, so be it. Cricketers are only required to show the courage to withstand a few hours of hostile fast bowling, not to be in fear of losing their lives by the hands of persons unknown.

It’s a pity about the disruption, because England will be far less well-prepared than they should have been. The one-day outfit are pretty clueless, but the England team knows how to play five-day cricket. While the batting is weaker than Australia’s, the bowling attack is better balanced because it will contain at least one and probably two serious specialist spinners, and if Flintoff, Harmison and Anderson continue with the form they showed during the English summer, they make a better pace attack than Australia had – so India’s batsmen might be challenged rather more than they were by the Aussies.

If that doesn’t happen, either because they don’t turn up at all or because they do but bowl badly, we can pick up the comfort blanket of the disturbing circumstances as a catch-all excuse – but let’s hope that won’t be necessary.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Betty on December 23, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    Just cause it's simple doesn't mean it's not super hlpeufl.

  • Mikso Mocha on December 17, 2008, 6:32 GMT

    No country wants to visit Pakistan in forseeable future for obvious security reasons considering the hate for westerners . Mumbai was a one off incident and it sure smelled of Pakistani hand wether direct or indirect. But then the world is aware and expects a Pakistani connection to pop up in any terror act anywhere in world so its not a surprise. England are well aware that security forces and people in India DO NOT have rogue elements who get sadistic pleasure by kiling UK/USA citizens and so they were ready to tour India within 2 weeks...I bet a 1000$ Champions tropy will not take place in Pakistan in 2009 . The same time period will be utilised to stage IPL Champions league postponed due to unfortunate 26/11 incident and it will be a befitting reply to those who attempt to make India look as unsafe as Pakistan.Unless the common Pakistani (whom no Indian holds reponsible becos common man is always peace loving) rebel and force ISI to stop their acts....Isolation of all formis future

  • A.Lee on December 5, 2008, 22:12 GMT

    To all the Pakistanis posting here bemoaning the double standards, I empathise with you. I agree it's unfair, but ultimately, it's up to all you fine folk to clear the perception that most Pakistanis are ultimately sympathetic to the cause of the terrorists. And until you work to clear that perception and get out of the "victim mindset" and get on with the job of getting the country back on track and get it up to where it belongs, this double standard will not go away. Indians also have this mindset but ultimately they are not viewed as sympathisers.

  • TRex on December 5, 2008, 18:10 GMT

    I agree completely with the author. This article was nicely written. Mumbai is a safe place, at least as safe as London, Madrid or New York - going by the scale of attacks carried out on them! For good measure, Chennai has been chosen and is also a very good option. If test cricket goes on, it will be a massive show of world solidarity and be a complete "BURN" on the part of terrorists. Scientifically advanced and modern nations such as India and UK must not give in to stone-age reverting psychopaths!

  • Ven on December 5, 2008, 17:27 GMT

    Why did Kirsten leave India? What made him think he's not safe in India? After all, the terrorists were after brits and the americans. They wouldnt have done him any harm if they got him. I dont think he set good example here. They say "When in Rome be a Roman". The same stays good for Kirsten - you cant run away from the country and later return back and say its a safe place.

  • sat on December 5, 2008, 17:00 GMT

    Re:Muhammad Usman at December 5, 2008 2:18 AM Dont compare bombings in pakistan with india. All of your people including cricketers who talk about also being victims of terrorism: how many of you have stood up in your own country and fought against terrorism? first show the intent that you dont want it, then you can invite others to join you. and lastly about the pink rakhis: it only takes a little more brain than yours to openly display rakhis and convince people like you that they are hindus.

  • Bala on December 5, 2008, 16:59 GMT

    Good article. As usual some heartburn comments are being raised not tolerating a victim returning to normalcy within short time. They conveniently forget the main difference between these two countries. It is like the risk of going into the deep forest being attacked by wild animals and the risk of going to the zoo. Ofcourse an accident in a zoo might scare the visitors one or two days, not for long.

  • Murali on December 5, 2008, 15:08 GMT

    No one, nt even the bravest, embrace risk willingly. Specially in a strange land, which is what India is to the English cricketers. So let's doff our hats to the English and give their courage a standing ovation when they walk on to the pitch.

  • Andrew McLean on December 5, 2008, 15:08 GMT

    Given that there have been similar attacks in India all year, it makes you wonder why England was touring the country in the first place. Secondly, it begs the question what has changed since the Mumbai bombings and whether it is now safer than it was a week ago. In my view the Mumbai attacks served to highlight that fact that terror attacks do happen in India. I spent two weeks in India on holiday last month and was well aware of the risks when I went. I intend to return early next year in the knowledge that those same risks will still exist. What also needs to be kept in mind, is that a team such as England could just as equally be targetted terriorists in England.

  • Muhammad Omer on December 5, 2008, 14:12 GMT

    To be very honest, if it would have been the same in pakistan, the security check wouldnt have been conducted even, the tour would have been called off. well the balance of the power & money is towards India. Might is Right .. thats the rule of the day

  • Betty on December 23, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    Just cause it's simple doesn't mean it's not super hlpeufl.

  • Mikso Mocha on December 17, 2008, 6:32 GMT

    No country wants to visit Pakistan in forseeable future for obvious security reasons considering the hate for westerners . Mumbai was a one off incident and it sure smelled of Pakistani hand wether direct or indirect. But then the world is aware and expects a Pakistani connection to pop up in any terror act anywhere in world so its not a surprise. England are well aware that security forces and people in India DO NOT have rogue elements who get sadistic pleasure by kiling UK/USA citizens and so they were ready to tour India within 2 weeks...I bet a 1000$ Champions tropy will not take place in Pakistan in 2009 . The same time period will be utilised to stage IPL Champions league postponed due to unfortunate 26/11 incident and it will be a befitting reply to those who attempt to make India look as unsafe as Pakistan.Unless the common Pakistani (whom no Indian holds reponsible becos common man is always peace loving) rebel and force ISI to stop their acts....Isolation of all formis future

  • A.Lee on December 5, 2008, 22:12 GMT

    To all the Pakistanis posting here bemoaning the double standards, I empathise with you. I agree it's unfair, but ultimately, it's up to all you fine folk to clear the perception that most Pakistanis are ultimately sympathetic to the cause of the terrorists. And until you work to clear that perception and get out of the "victim mindset" and get on with the job of getting the country back on track and get it up to where it belongs, this double standard will not go away. Indians also have this mindset but ultimately they are not viewed as sympathisers.

  • TRex on December 5, 2008, 18:10 GMT

    I agree completely with the author. This article was nicely written. Mumbai is a safe place, at least as safe as London, Madrid or New York - going by the scale of attacks carried out on them! For good measure, Chennai has been chosen and is also a very good option. If test cricket goes on, it will be a massive show of world solidarity and be a complete "BURN" on the part of terrorists. Scientifically advanced and modern nations such as India and UK must not give in to stone-age reverting psychopaths!

  • Ven on December 5, 2008, 17:27 GMT

    Why did Kirsten leave India? What made him think he's not safe in India? After all, the terrorists were after brits and the americans. They wouldnt have done him any harm if they got him. I dont think he set good example here. They say "When in Rome be a Roman". The same stays good for Kirsten - you cant run away from the country and later return back and say its a safe place.

  • sat on December 5, 2008, 17:00 GMT

    Re:Muhammad Usman at December 5, 2008 2:18 AM Dont compare bombings in pakistan with india. All of your people including cricketers who talk about also being victims of terrorism: how many of you have stood up in your own country and fought against terrorism? first show the intent that you dont want it, then you can invite others to join you. and lastly about the pink rakhis: it only takes a little more brain than yours to openly display rakhis and convince people like you that they are hindus.

  • Bala on December 5, 2008, 16:59 GMT

    Good article. As usual some heartburn comments are being raised not tolerating a victim returning to normalcy within short time. They conveniently forget the main difference between these two countries. It is like the risk of going into the deep forest being attacked by wild animals and the risk of going to the zoo. Ofcourse an accident in a zoo might scare the visitors one or two days, not for long.

  • Murali on December 5, 2008, 15:08 GMT

    No one, nt even the bravest, embrace risk willingly. Specially in a strange land, which is what India is to the English cricketers. So let's doff our hats to the English and give their courage a standing ovation when they walk on to the pitch.

  • Andrew McLean on December 5, 2008, 15:08 GMT

    Given that there have been similar attacks in India all year, it makes you wonder why England was touring the country in the first place. Secondly, it begs the question what has changed since the Mumbai bombings and whether it is now safer than it was a week ago. In my view the Mumbai attacks served to highlight that fact that terror attacks do happen in India. I spent two weeks in India on holiday last month and was well aware of the risks when I went. I intend to return early next year in the knowledge that those same risks will still exist. What also needs to be kept in mind, is that a team such as England could just as equally be targetted terriorists in England.

  • Muhammad Omer on December 5, 2008, 14:12 GMT

    To be very honest, if it would have been the same in pakistan, the security check wouldnt have been conducted even, the tour would have been called off. well the balance of the power & money is towards India. Might is Right .. thats the rule of the day

  • Sai on December 5, 2008, 13:43 GMT

    This is one of the nicest things I have read so far on the issue. You can't really say whether someone should tour or not. But you have to understand that it is really hard to call any place safe or unsafe and move on with life.

  • Andrew J on December 5, 2008, 13:36 GMT

    I am just curious to ask the writer, as well as he has written the piece, what is his opinion about england, or for that matter australia, new zealand, west indies, south africa and now India -travelling to pakistan ?

    The logic, and the reasoning justifying England's visit to India should be consistent enough to consider Pakistan in the loop as well. Why single out one country when the other one is enduring the same fate, or even worse (in case of Taj) ?

    I am PRO CRICKET. I want england to tour india. and by the same token, i want other countries to let go of the lust for money and be fair to Pakistan. Being the world's no.1 team, we should have visited Pakistan this year and set an example. Instead, we are the first one to chicken out and alienate pakistan particularly. No amount of words can express the gross injustice meted out to a proud cricketing nation.

  • Nik TJ on December 5, 2008, 13:23 GMT

    I'm Australian, really liked your article, and am really pleased to hear England are trying to continue the tour. I also noticed the apparent double-standards regarding India and Pakistan. I don't know the real underlying reasons for this. I suspect that financial gain (or loss) is not insignificant. I also suspect that part of it is how the players and administrators relate to India and Pakistan. I suspect it is a combination of reasons. To say it is just bias is too simplistic - there are almost certainly things Pakistan could do to change the situation, so that in the future security issues in their country are viewed in a more accepting light than they currently are. I suspect part of the issue is that the attack in Mumbai appears to be the work of outsiders (I'm not for an instant suggesting Pakistan) whereas issues in Pakistan and previous issues in India were internal. Whatever the case, I'm glad England want to continue the tour, and hope this view spreads to other situations.

  • Mike Holmans on December 5, 2008, 13:02 GMT

    Thanks to all those who have commented.

    I am pleased to learn - rather late, I admit - that the targeting of US/Brit-passport holders was a confused soundbite rather than the truth, so that element of concern is lifted. It was a remarkably persistent soundbite, though, which only goes to reinforce the point that those who don't know what they are talking about would be better off staying quiet than parading their ignorance.

    As to the Pakistan issue, the point of having security consultants is to assess the *different* levels of risk in each country. While neither Iraq nor Iceland are cricket-playing countries, I would not call it "unfair" if a security consultant said that one was basically safe and the other very dangerous. Since India and Pakistan are different countries, it is not entirely implausible that there might be different assessments made of them at different times.

  • Kish Kumar on December 5, 2008, 11:50 GMT

    I am very much surprised at England's decision to fly back for the test series. I was hoping the Indian board to cancel the series, regardless. I am not a big beleiver in God. But, I still pray for the England team to have a very safe tour. Everytime my friends in Australia talks of risks in going to India, I used to ridicule them. But, this time, it is real and there are new threats for the Airports. Cricket or any other sport for that matter is a silly affair when compared to safeguarding the people. Risk is everywhere, alright. Also, I can see their point that they can't allow the terrorists to dictate cricket tours. But, why take a risk when there is pre warning?. Anyway, I have to congratulae the brave Englishmen for this tour and eventhough I am a mad Indian fan, I wish England a successful test series.

  • Patrick on December 5, 2008, 11:12 GMT

    This is the first time since i have been following cricket that am against the cricket going ahead and that to following the atrocities. The moment we resume cricket we are going to definetly take my mind,body and soul away from the real life threating issues that surrounds us. One thing we can take as Guarnteed is that there are more chances of the Terrorists striking again than the odds of the sceurity forces defeating thes stateless actors as they are come to be know now. Better we get the security show on the road first and then think of cricket. At least for now. Enough is Enough...By resuming cricket dont think the atrocities will go away. First things first. Sports can wait. Once the Govt has ensured that everything is set in moting only then they should sanction the resumpiton of this test series or any other major sporting event in the country. What do you think? Do the terrorist give a damn if we play or not play. Eradicating them is the only solution. Lets not forget that.

  • Keith Bennett on December 5, 2008, 10:48 GMT

    I respect those who question why Pakistan is treated more harshly than India when it comes to safety and touring, and agree they have a point, but the fact is Pakistan is seen in a worse light than India, and we need to question why. Are these cricketers saying "we just don't like Pakistan. It's got nothing to do with terrorists. We just prefer India over them"? That wouldn't make any sense. Whether justifiably or not, Pakistan is seen as a far more dangerous place than India by many. It is not a personal slight on them. it is not just being spiteful to Pakistan for the sake of it. They see it as a far more dangerous country, and I think we need to look into that and see whether such views are justified or not.

  • Gautam on December 5, 2008, 10:45 GMT

    A very well thought and objective piece. The only reason teams are willing to tour India and not Pakistan is because apart from the terror incidents in both the countries there is nothing common, while one has been a thriving democracy since independence the other has been ruled by military despots for much of the time, while one has an open, diverse and vibrant culture the other is a theocratic state with little tolerance for other religions....... Ultimately pakistanis have to honestly ask themselves why they are in the situation they are, and take control of their own nation and not allow plotting military commanders and inteligence agencies to call the shots.

  • 12th Man on December 5, 2008, 10:08 GMT

    Life moves on. People might take time to recover from the incident, but the wordly order has to ensue sometime or the other.

    @Vidyadhar: Don't talk nonsense. The external affairs minister has ruled out the possibility of any war. And a bombing in Mumbai need not affect the staging of a test match in Chennai.

  • Digitaleye on December 5, 2008, 9:45 GMT

    @Usman

    Raksha Bandan was on August 16th. A brother who loves her sister so much that he doesn't want to remove rakhi for 3 months might be insane but definitely cannot be a cold blooded murderer. Hint! Hint!

  • Digitaleye on December 5, 2008, 9:37 GMT

    @Usman

    You want to know why nobody visits Pakistan?. It's because of this prevalent delusional attitude over there. Your post is a clear example of that. Bhutto assasination, Marriot bombing, and other countless recent attacks are not figments of anybody's imagination. If you doubt 9/11 you might also be interested in knowing more about the conversation I had with an Unicorn recently. As far as the rakhi non-sense goes, Indian youth mercilessly shot and killed their countrymen and set their own landmarks on fire and then when eventually caught by the police either they or the police labeled them as Pakistanis. Come on!. Show some sensitivity to the innocents who were killed. But, seriously though, why do you think the whole world is out there to get you?

  • Able Lawrence on December 5, 2008, 8:50 GMT

    The attacks were not done during the presence of the team probably because of the extreme security blanket that surrounds the cricketers. Hotels will become fortresses when cricketers come there. This is the normal practice. I dont think the terrorists will be stupid enough to try that

  • Richard on December 5, 2008, 8:39 GMT

    The consensus seems to be on here we are all at risk from terrorists. Well, believe it or nor, some of us aren't (touch wood!). Not everyone from England is from London, some of the England team will, like me, have been brought up in rural or semi rural backwaters of England where, even during the IRA years, the only terrorist shananigans you see are televised. People form London might not mind sitting on tube trains or beaches next to bombs but to some of us its a non too appetizing thought. So, if some of the England team decide not to go, they have my sympathy because I wouldn't go.

  • Adnan Hasan Syed on December 5, 2008, 8:34 GMT

    It's very easy to point a finger at ISI or Pakistan for every trouble in India. As far as I know, there are many angry groups and sepeartist movements going on in India for ages. Indian Muslims, the Sikh seperatists, the Naxal movement, the Assam rebels, the Tamil Nadu rebels cannot be all put on Pakistan. And if Pakistan is resourceful enough to create that HUGE amount of panic in India, what about the terrorists operating in Pakistan? Be sane enough to admit, a common man loves peace and deserves it everywhere. Those taking lives cannot be owned by any one country and lets not give in to them. If it's safe for cricket in India, it is in Pakistan too. Any go-aheads in India and cancellations in Pakistan only mean commercial and economical interests, be man enough to spell them out rather than comparing the safety standards in the two countries. Hundreds getting killed is as unsafe anywhere in the world.

  • Surendiran T on December 5, 2008, 8:09 GMT

    I totally agree with all your comments. But I don't think only tbe foreigners were the target. They killed more indians on the way before taking the foreigners hostages.Hope England can come and play a good game of test cricket to forget the mumbai incidents as early as possible

  • Chamara on December 5, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    I recently heard this comment said by Jeff Thomson that India played England when London Bomb incident.,But with all the respect I don't think he doesn't know the different between England and India. It's true India is vast country but the situation is different. And I don't understand why England is sending a team to India without their top players.

  • Surinder Kochhar on December 5, 2008, 5:06 GMT

    Risk is imminent everywhere. Nobody ever thought that USA will experience deadly 9/11. After this terrorists attempted 14 more times to attack USA. Fortunately they failed. But who knows out of 100 times may be one time terrorists succeed. The need of the hour is to assess the risk, manage it and move on ........ England Cricketers needs to be saluted for tis couragious action.

  • Hiren Shah on December 5, 2008, 3:29 GMT

    It's a pretty well done artice. At the end of the day, India and England have come to share a lot - Democracy, Pluralism and high-tech, modernist worldview, in addition to love for Cricket - and that seems to enable the English to look at broader picture and recognize these acts for what they are, arbitraty blips rather than main event.

  • Ashwin on December 5, 2008, 3:21 GMT

    Since no one might say it, I will. Yes, the same friendly and forgiving attitude may not be shared with Pakistan. Maybe, most people around the world see Pakistan as a part of the problem and not a victim of it? I sympathize with the common man in Pakistan who has no links with terrorism, but ISI is a state establishment the last time I checked.

  • Muhammad Usman on December 5, 2008, 2:18 GMT

    The U-turn by the English team infact the hasty retreat back to the indian grounds is a timely reminder of the western double standards. If it would've been Pakistan on the touring list, they would hve cited terrorism incidents dating back to the last 3months. Here they've conveniently forgotten the Mumbai massacre which specifically targeted British citizens among others. Such hypocrisy has deep rooted origins and their connections link up eventually with the glittering British pounds the English fear losing by not visiting India. N for that war mongering from so-called patriotic indians; While you dont have the insight to see the Terrorists wearing pink Rakhi's which last time i checked Muslims never are fond of; the time is not far off when you will realize its an inside job like most americans also think 9/11 was.. and lastly you are not welcome to tour Pakistan..Why not do some comical biscuits and cold drink commercials so that U donate that money for Taj hotel weapon scanners

  • Dilip on December 4, 2008, 23:11 GMT

    Nicely written.. Absolutely agree with you.

  • Irfan on December 4, 2008, 22:38 GMT

    I assume this kind of article would never have been written if the England team was to go to Pakistan. Neither would Reg Dickason have given the clearance. Something is not fair in this world. I don't care if India go to Pakistan. But, I am pretty sure that England, Aussies or NZ will not go to Pakistan citing security reasons. I am pretty sure they Champions Trophy will be cancelled.Title of this article is wrong, should be "Unsafe in India or Englandis is safe".

  • Deepak Asarpota on December 4, 2008, 22:28 GMT

    Exceptionally well written. We cannot let a crazy bunch of terrorists dictate the way we run our lives. Kudos.

  • Rohit on December 4, 2008, 22:12 GMT

    Iam an indian and i have seen all this before but now even iam feeling kinda insecure. I 've a bad feeling the terrorist might try to disrupt the game as it can create a big issue so i dont actually find this tour continuing very safe and if i were an english player i would have opted out but then as a cricket lover i hope it doesnt happen and that the full team lands here and that we can have a thrilling series(in terms of cricket played !!)

  • JT on December 4, 2008, 22:09 GMT

    This was by far the best response I have read regarding this issue. It was a balanced view, not calling on England to display some far fetched notion of solidarity or heroism by continuing to tour...It also did not barrage us with a litany of reasons why India is unsafe for the touring English team. I find that most of the writers have chosen one of these courses and it has been quite off putting to read...they are neither Security experts nor civil servants/diplomats...and their pseudo analyses of the issue have been laughable. Bravo Mike..this was a good piece.

  • Jumbotron on December 4, 2008, 21:55 GMT

    A great piece. I have read with interest so many articles and blogs on this issue and always felt that the author had little right to comment on whether the players should stay in England or go back.

    Your comments about London, 9/11 and flying I can really associate with. It made me think about my own life and work. I live in London and this year I have used the tube nearly everyday. I have been to New York, the Middle East and flown on at least thirty flights around Europe for business. Tomorrow I am going to southern Spain for a long weekend, the nearest beach was a bomb target of Spanish extremist earlier this year - I went there the day after and sat near where bomb had been defused.

    I have made my own choices and I guess assessed the risks as best I can. Sadly will all live with the threat of terrorism hanging over us, we can make choices that reduce the threat but in truth we are probably most at risk when we expect it least.

  • Steve on December 4, 2008, 21:52 GMT

    The fact is Mike that if the England Cricket Team were such an attractive target the attacks would have been timed for when they were in Mumbai. I'd also disagree with your assertion that "a specific group of foreign visitors" were targeted in the attacks - attacks that started with mowing down mid evening commuters in a rail terminal were target specific? Businessmen, airline crew, even tourists will still be arriving in India daily, the England Cricket Team should just get on with it and be realistic instead of believing they all have a target on their heads.

  • mahi on December 4, 2008, 21:29 GMT

    I agree with Mike, There is fear everywhere in the world, no place can be counted safe... India is prone to Terror attacks.. may be more than lets say London, but English team should remember that Cricketers always have extra securities and terrorists always choose the place with minimun security. I heard even during Mumbai attacks some south african cricketers were having dinner, but they had security commandos with them who took them out of the hotel unharmed. So once the security analysis is complete, English team should focus on cricket. I know it is easier said than done.. and we must praise English players for showing up. Hopefully the quality of cricket will show that both teams are not affected on field by the recent happenings.

  • Vidyadhar Akkaraju on December 4, 2008, 18:25 GMT

    Things are not as simple as that. The pressure on India to retaliate is increasing by the minute and has all the signs that war may be imminent. It is neither fair nor prudent to expect the game to go on.

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  • Vidyadhar Akkaraju on December 4, 2008, 18:25 GMT

    Things are not as simple as that. The pressure on India to retaliate is increasing by the minute and has all the signs that war may be imminent. It is neither fair nor prudent to expect the game to go on.

  • mahi on December 4, 2008, 21:29 GMT

    I agree with Mike, There is fear everywhere in the world, no place can be counted safe... India is prone to Terror attacks.. may be more than lets say London, but English team should remember that Cricketers always have extra securities and terrorists always choose the place with minimun security. I heard even during Mumbai attacks some south african cricketers were having dinner, but they had security commandos with them who took them out of the hotel unharmed. So once the security analysis is complete, English team should focus on cricket. I know it is easier said than done.. and we must praise English players for showing up. Hopefully the quality of cricket will show that both teams are not affected on field by the recent happenings.

  • Steve on December 4, 2008, 21:52 GMT

    The fact is Mike that if the England Cricket Team were such an attractive target the attacks would have been timed for when they were in Mumbai. I'd also disagree with your assertion that "a specific group of foreign visitors" were targeted in the attacks - attacks that started with mowing down mid evening commuters in a rail terminal were target specific? Businessmen, airline crew, even tourists will still be arriving in India daily, the England Cricket Team should just get on with it and be realistic instead of believing they all have a target on their heads.

  • Jumbotron on December 4, 2008, 21:55 GMT

    A great piece. I have read with interest so many articles and blogs on this issue and always felt that the author had little right to comment on whether the players should stay in England or go back.

    Your comments about London, 9/11 and flying I can really associate with. It made me think about my own life and work. I live in London and this year I have used the tube nearly everyday. I have been to New York, the Middle East and flown on at least thirty flights around Europe for business. Tomorrow I am going to southern Spain for a long weekend, the nearest beach was a bomb target of Spanish extremist earlier this year - I went there the day after and sat near where bomb had been defused.

    I have made my own choices and I guess assessed the risks as best I can. Sadly will all live with the threat of terrorism hanging over us, we can make choices that reduce the threat but in truth we are probably most at risk when we expect it least.

  • JT on December 4, 2008, 22:09 GMT

    This was by far the best response I have read regarding this issue. It was a balanced view, not calling on England to display some far fetched notion of solidarity or heroism by continuing to tour...It also did not barrage us with a litany of reasons why India is unsafe for the touring English team. I find that most of the writers have chosen one of these courses and it has been quite off putting to read...they are neither Security experts nor civil servants/diplomats...and their pseudo analyses of the issue have been laughable. Bravo Mike..this was a good piece.

  • Rohit on December 4, 2008, 22:12 GMT

    Iam an indian and i have seen all this before but now even iam feeling kinda insecure. I 've a bad feeling the terrorist might try to disrupt the game as it can create a big issue so i dont actually find this tour continuing very safe and if i were an english player i would have opted out but then as a cricket lover i hope it doesnt happen and that the full team lands here and that we can have a thrilling series(in terms of cricket played !!)

  • Deepak Asarpota on December 4, 2008, 22:28 GMT

    Exceptionally well written. We cannot let a crazy bunch of terrorists dictate the way we run our lives. Kudos.

  • Irfan on December 4, 2008, 22:38 GMT

    I assume this kind of article would never have been written if the England team was to go to Pakistan. Neither would Reg Dickason have given the clearance. Something is not fair in this world. I don't care if India go to Pakistan. But, I am pretty sure that England, Aussies or NZ will not go to Pakistan citing security reasons. I am pretty sure they Champions Trophy will be cancelled.Title of this article is wrong, should be "Unsafe in India or Englandis is safe".

  • Dilip on December 4, 2008, 23:11 GMT

    Nicely written.. Absolutely agree with you.

  • Muhammad Usman on December 5, 2008, 2:18 GMT

    The U-turn by the English team infact the hasty retreat back to the indian grounds is a timely reminder of the western double standards. If it would've been Pakistan on the touring list, they would hve cited terrorism incidents dating back to the last 3months. Here they've conveniently forgotten the Mumbai massacre which specifically targeted British citizens among others. Such hypocrisy has deep rooted origins and their connections link up eventually with the glittering British pounds the English fear losing by not visiting India. N for that war mongering from so-called patriotic indians; While you dont have the insight to see the Terrorists wearing pink Rakhi's which last time i checked Muslims never are fond of; the time is not far off when you will realize its an inside job like most americans also think 9/11 was.. and lastly you are not welcome to tour Pakistan..Why not do some comical biscuits and cold drink commercials so that U donate that money for Taj hotel weapon scanners