London, Nov 28 : Even as uncertainty prevails over the England's India tour as the visiting England cricket team is scheduled to return home by this evening in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror strikes killing around 150 people, managing director of England Cricket Hugh Morris has exhibited confidence in his team's players, saying they would return (to India) to play the two-Test series.
"The desire to come back will be there, it's a Test series the players have looked forward to for a long time. I'm confident the players will return full of enthusiasm. Terrorism is a global issue and it's very real to us and we will not compromise the safety of our players at any time," the Daily Express quoted him as saying.
According to the paper, the security situation in India after the terrorist attacks will be assessed over the coming five days, with the ECB insisting the two-Test series due to start on December 11 is still on.
That, however, is likely to change once the players land on home soil. How much appetite there will be among captain Kevin Pietersen and his players to return to a country where Westerners are being targeted by terrorists is doubtful.
"The ECB are under pressure from the BCCI to complete the tour, but can use security concerns as a legitimate reason for canceling without facing demands for compensation," said the paper, and added: "If England do return, the players will be given the choice of opting out if they fear for their safety. As the horror of events in Mumbai unfolded yesterday, it seemed certain the players would be coming home."
Morris said: "To get back to a home environment is a good thing. The tragedy in Mumbai is very real to the players because they were in that hotel - in that very restaurant - only two weeks ago."