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Boycott demands ICC intervention to stall two-Test series

December 03, 2008 18:00 IST

Former England captain Geoff Boycott hit out at the ECB, saying it is "monstrous" even to be thinking of sending players back to the terror-stricken subcontinent and demanded the International Cricket Council's intervention to stop the two-Test series between India and England.

"Given what has just happened in India, it is monstrous for the England and Wales Cricket Board even to be thinking about sending the team back out again," he said.

"The ECB are showing a lack of moral judgment by pressing ahead with all these meetings and security inspections. The whole thing is just too raw," he was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

Over 200 people, including some foreign nationals, were killed in the worst-ever terror attacks in India, in which terrorists hijacked two luxury hotels and fought not-stop for around 60 hours.

"No one should underestimate the scale of this disaster. The aftershocks are not going to die down quickly. If the players go back next week, they won't be able to escape the inquests into what happened," he added.

Boycott said even change of venue is not a solution to the players' problem as Mohali is closest to Pakistan, where the Mariott hotel witnessed a bomb blast a few months ago.

"You have to show some common sense, and make sure no one is going to get hurt. It is only a couple of months since the Islamabad Marriott was taken out by a lorry-load of explosives that went off just outside the front gate.

"In the circumstances, it seems bizarre that the Indians are trying to reschedule one of the Test matches to Mohali. It is the closest ground to Pakistan, only a matter of 25 miles from the border," said Boycott.

"To even talk about flying there is ridiculous. It is time for the ECB or, if not them, the International Cricket Council to stand up, stop messing around, and show some leadership," Boycott said.

The former England captain said the idea of players returning to India for the two-Test series is insensitive as mere words could not fight terror.

"It's all very well to say 'we mustn't let the terrorists win' but what about the grieving families who have lost loved ones? And what about the players' wives, who will be afraid to turn on the television for fear of what they might see? For me, the whole idea just seems disrespectful, insensitive and immoral," he said.

Boycott also felt the timing was not apt for the Test series to go on as no one would be in the right frame of mind for the recreation.

"Sport is supposed to be enjoyable, entertaining, and essentially fun. But I don't know how any of that can be possible when India is burying more than 200 victims of terror," he said.

The former opener said he expected some 'common sense' from the Board.

"More importantly, we don't yet know enough about the Bombay disaster. You can't just be macho and gung-ho and go barging into these situations saying everything is going to be OK."