Geoff Miller: Decision to miss series won’t count against anyone

December 2, 2008 at 10:10 am Leave a comment


England Chief Selector Geoff Miller has reassured the players that any decision to skip the test series with India won’t count agianst them in future selections. He wants the players to make a decision but only wants England players to return if they are in the right frame of mind. The terror attacks in Mumbai have affected the state of the two match series, with the fate of the series to be decided soon as the ECB recieve the security reports.

“The players will be left to make their own decisions and they won’t be forced to go back even if the security reports are favourable,” said Miller. “If we do go back we’ve got two tough Tests to play so the focus has got to be right, Players need to be on full mettle.

“There is no point in players going out there if their mind is on self -preservation. We need them performing with bat and ball. But, depending on the character involved, it might not be right for some. I’ve not spoken to everyone yet but Kev is doing a ring round to canvas opinion. I’m expecting to hear back from everyone over the next day or so. There is no timeline but players realise that we have to move fast if we are to go back.

“If some players choose to stay at home the selectors will have to re assess, but their decision to miss the Test series will not count against them. As cricketers we owe it to the game to complete those fixtures but the security of the players is paramount.”

The ICC have urged England to play in the two test series if the security report says it is safe enough to play. However, there are reports that Harmison and Flintoff will not return even if it is safe. Harmison has publicily spoken out that what has happened as “beyond cricket” and said that “How anyone can say that we should be carrying on with the tour in the circumstances is beyond me. People are writing that we shouldn’t give in to terrorism, but we are cricketers, not soldiers”. Flintoff, who has an ankle injury is also thought to be reluctant to return to India and James Anderson’s return is also in doubt as his wife is pregnant.

Former captain Naseer Hussain has urged England to return but the final decision lies with the England players, who are set to make a decision in the next couple of days.

When your playing agianst this Indian team you need to be focused 100%, any player with doubts about returning shouldn’t return. Miller’s word may be assuring to Flintoff and Harmison, if they pull out but for those whose place in the side is under threat will have an akward decision to make. If a current player withdraws from the team it opens up an opportunity for another player, if that players performs well on the tour then he will put the selectors under pressure to select him for future tours. Miller’s words also pave the way for a ‘weakened’ england team to play in the test series, with the likes of Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah waiting on the fringes.

England are set to play the first Test on 11 December in Chennai, with the second beginning on 19 December in Mohali.

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Entry filed under: County cricket, Cricket, England, ODI, Pietersen, Twenty20.

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