'Flintoff, Harmison not returning'
England will return to India to play their two-match Test series as per schedule, but without several senior players including all-rounder Andrew Flintoff.cricket Updated: Nov 30, 2008 15:44 IST
England will return to India to play their two-match Test series as per schedule, but without several senior players including talismanic all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, according to a media report in London.
Following the terror attack on Mumbai, Flintoff and fast bowler Steve Harmison and perhaps another bowler in the squad of 15, are expected to pull out in the next two days, citing their children and wives as their prime consideration, a report in 'Sunday Telegraph' claimed.
"Harmison has pulled out of tours before, but Flintoff's absence would deprive England of their best bowler in Indian conditions," the report said.
"A lot hinges on the attitude of captain Pietersen, but assuming he is persuaded by ECB of the enormous compensation which would be demanded by the Indian board (running into millions of dollars) and falls into line, the rest of the England party will follow his lead," it said.
England and Wales Cricket Board will make available by tomorrow a security risk assessment report on returning to India but the newspaper claimed that the report was just a formality and the ECB has already decided on going ahead with the Test series with first match starting in Ahmedabad on December 11.
The report also said that England players are likely to have practice either in Dubai or Abu Dhabi instead of playing a three-day practice game at Vadodara from December 5-7, and then fly directly from there to Ahmedabad for the first Test.