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December 4, 2008
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, has welcomed England's decision to go ahead with the tour of India, pending security clearance, saying it was good for world cricket. The security inspection by the ECB's expert, aimed at assessing the cover provided to players, is underway and Lorgat said the ICC would expect similar security for its match officials.
"It is very important for world cricket that England does tour India. We have to do everything to ensure that the tour proceeds with the security measures in place," Lorgat told Cricinfo. "But at the same time, we can't be foolish and that is why it is important that the necessary security measures are in place. It's very good for cricket that England have risen above the events of the past week because of the security measures that have been promised."
Lorgat said that security would be an important item on the agenda during the ICC's chief executives' meeting in Cape Town on Monday. "We must do everything possible to play the game without taking risks that cannot be managed. All of us would need to put our heads together to come up with a collective and coordinated approach in responding to global terrorism. Of course, I'm no expert in this area and we must all join hands in tackling this problem with experts and governments supporting us."
Asked about a letter sent by Vince van der Bijl, the ICC's umpires' and referees' manager, to the Indian board asking for similar security to ICC match officials as the players, Lorgat said, "Everyone is an important participant in the Test match and must be accorded similar security measures as the player. Everyone is important." Jeff Crowe will be the match referee for the series, while Daryl Harper and Asad Rauf are the on-field umpires.
Lorgat's words echoed those of David Morgan, the ICC president, who - before England announced their decision to fly to Abu Dhabi - criticized the view of Geoffrey Boycott and others who argued that the series should be postponed. "I have seen British writers criticising the ECB for wanting to return while the disaster is still 'raw' in India, to use Geoffrey Boycott's expression," Morgan said in the Daily Telegraph. "In my view they are failing to understand that it isn't for British people to make a judgment on what people in India want.
"It is quite clear that the people who run cricket in India want the game to resume as soon as possible. Wouldn't we want the same here if the boot was on the other foot?"
Former players such as Boycott and Graham Gooch have pushed for the cancellation of the two-Test series after it was reported that "at least five or six" players may pull out. "I know Mr Boycott is saying that players will be in an inappropriate state of mind, but it's the same, if not worse, for the Indian players," Morgan said. "We have to think of the business of cricket as well as the game of cricket. The terrorists cannot be allowed to win."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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