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England criticised for dropping tour

December 01, 2008 14:30 IST

England's cricketers were guilty of employing double-standards for quitting their tour of India because of security fears, former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson said on Monday.

Lawson, who was sacked by the Pakistan Cricket Board in October, urged England's players to return to India and complete the series, citing the case of the 2005 Ashes series in England that went ahead despite bombings in London.

"It's interesting that England are heading home and certain players don't want to play the test series and yet we go back to 2005, bombs went off in London while there was a big series on there and it didn't affect one iota the cricket," Lawson told a Sydney radio station.

"I think a few of the England players should reflect on what happened in their country before they start pulling out of cricket matches in India."

England's players returned home last week during the attacks in Mumbai, abandoning the last two matches of their seven game one-day international series.

They are waiting on security reports before deciding whether they will return for the scheduled test series but Lawson said they should.

"If you stop events that aren't particularly and directly threatened you're just succumbing to terrorism and they succeed," Lawson said.

 England-India ODIs cancelled

"So far, the facts are, no sporting event, let alone a cricket event, has ever been threatened."

Lawson, who was highly critical of his native Australia when they refused to tour Pakistan earlier this year, also called on the International Cricket Council to proceed with plans to play the 2011 World Cup on the Indian subcontinent amid media speculation it may be moved to Australia and New Zealand.

"No matter where you hold that event in the cricket world it could be open to terrorism," Lawson said.

"Whether it's going to be Christchurch or Alice Springs, it's not really going to matter. If they want to do something they'll find a way."

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