England in India 2008-09 November 30, 2008

'Safety cannot be guaranteed' warns Vaughan

Cricinfo staff

If England do return to India to play the two Tests, it appears quite possible that some of the squad will chose to remain at home, leaving the selectors to make some hasty reshuffling. However, Michael Vaughan, who was in Bangalore with the England High Performance team at the time of the attacks in Mumbai, has warned that doing so might not be straightforward.

"All the lads will be desperate to play cricket for their country, but they will want to have their safety guaranteed and the trouble with this sort of attack is that safety cannot be guaranteed, even if they are given presidential security," Vaughan told the Sunday Telegraph.

"We have a duty to go and play cricket if it is safe to do so, but if the players have fear, they can't go out there and perform. There are a lot of young players in this England squad who are new to this sort of thing. Can they focus and concentrate on cricket so soon afterwards? Any slightly negative mentality and they will get found out.

"If the Middlesex players had been involved … if they had checked into the Taj hotel 24 hours earlier … and if some of their guys had been held hostage, would this Test series be going ahead? Almost certainly not."

As for Vaughan himself, he said he would "find it very difficult to go back, having been there and watched the scenes on TV - scenes of gunmen shooting people and corpses being dragged out of a hotel where the England team were staying a fortnight ago and where they were due to be staying in just over a fortnight".

And he warned that even if the tour was to resume, it would "become like a military camp".

"Above all, there has to be a period of mourning, and I think that less than a fortnight is not long enough."