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October 23, 2001
The outcome of the meeting between the England players and the England and Wales Cricket Board will not be known until the end of the week. It is at that time that the players will report individually whether they are satisfied about the security arrangements on their proposed tour to India and whether they, as individuals, are prepared to go.
The word from the ECB is that the tour is still very much on and, should any individuals decide that they do not want to travel, they will be replaced in the party to go to India. There would not be repercussions should they elect not to go, even to the extent that they would be retained in the party to go to New Zealand later in the winter.
However, chairman Lord MacLaurin and chief executive Tim Lamb both expressed confidence in the security arrangements and hoped that there would not be a significant number of defections from the originally selected party.
A key member of the discussions was the British High Commissioner in New Delhi, Sir Rob Young. The players' representative, Richard Bevan, said after the meeting: " The players would like to thank the ECB, Sir Rob Young and Kevin Brind (from the South Asia department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) for the meeting which they found both constructive and very useful. They have all returned home to discuss the meeting with their families and will let me know individually by midday on Friday whether they will make themselves available to tour."
Tim Lamb said: "I am glad we have had this meeting so all the issues could be brought out into the open. As far as the ECB is concerned, having taken the best possible advice from the Foreign Office and the British High Commission in Delhi, I can confirm that, as things stand, we believe that there is no reason for the forthcoming tour to India not to go ahead as planned."
One of the key topics was the assertion that the general advice given by the FCO to British nationals travelling to India does not apply to the England cricket team, who would be afforded the highest possible level of security.
Now it is up to the players to decide. However, Bevan did say that if a significant number opted not to go, the PCA could not recommend to its members that they should take the place of those who drop out.
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