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Players won't feel safe in India: Vaughan

November 30, 2008 19:40 IST

Former England captain Michael Vaughan feels it will be tough for Kevin Pietersen and his men to return to India for next month's Test series as playing there would be like being in a "military camp" after the ghastly Mumbai terror attacks.

"The tour, if it goes ahead, will become like a military camp," Vaughan said.

Vaughan said it is hard to say whether the Indians would be prepared to play after the mayhem that left close to 200 dead.

"And what about the Indian players? You've got to feel for those guys. Some of them live in Mumbai like Sachin Tendulkar and I bet they've lost a few friends. Our liaison officer in Bangalore, Sachin, his neighbour was shot dead. It has to have an effect on the Indian players," he said.

The former skipper said the scale of the attack was such that the players are unlikely to feel safe even if given presidential security.

"It's such a difficult problem for them. All the lads will be desperate to play cricket for their country, but they will want to have their safety guaranteed and the trouble with this sort of attack is that safety cannot be guaranteed, even if they are given presidential security," Vaughan was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

"When they get home the players have to give themselves 24 hours then sit down and ask themselves if they can be 100 per cent committed to playing cricket in India. We have a duty to go and play cricket if it is safe to do so, but if the players have fear, they can't go out there and perform," he added.

Vaughan said the players' fear is likely to be compounded by reports that the terrorists, who laid siege to the Indian financial hub, were looking to target westerners.

"It's this mental effect after they've been so related to the incidentĀ  reports that these terrorists have targeted westerners, running through hotel foyers asking for British and American people.

"There are a lot of young players in this England squad who are new to this sort of thing. Can they focus and concentrate on cricket so soon afterwards? Any slightly negative mentality and they will get found out," he explained.

The former skipper said he would have certainly withdrawn from the tour in such a situation.

"I personally would find it very difficult to go back, having been there and watched the scenes on TVĀ scenes of gunmen shooting people and corpses being dragged out of a hotel where the England team were staying a fortnight ago and where they were due to be staying in just over a fortnight. I felt concerned when I was in Bangalore with the performance squad," he said.

"It's going to be very tricky for Kevin Pietersen in particular. If he'd been just a player, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't go back, but as the England captain he'll have to consider the wider picture. I was put in a similar situation when we went to Zimbabwe in 2004 but it was a political issue not a safety issue.

"Above all, there has to be a period of mourning, and I think that less than a fortnight is not long enough," he added.

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