Terror and Sport: Will England Return to India?
Following the horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai this week the England cricket team face a monumental decision on whether to return to India to play cricket or not.
The England team returned on Saturday to consider their options. The atrocity which befell Mumbai stirred raw emotions within the England team as they occupied the tragedy stricken Taj Hotel a mere two weeks ago. Indeed some of their sports kit was still inside the Hotel when terror struck.
It may seem flippant to discuss sport at a time of such mourning and grief but talk we must as cricket is a sport of passion and occupies quasi religion status in India.
Kevin Pietersen and the England team must be tormented with their decision. I am sure they would love not to go anywhere near India at the moment but no doubt they feel a kindred obligation to continue the tour so as to display comradeship with the people and sporting public of India.
MS Dhoni, the Indian captain was quoted as saying: "we are in the business of entertainment but right now we don’t feel like entertaining”. These sentiments I am sure are echoed by other Indian (and of course England) players.
However I believe that the tour should continue. The England and Indian teams will be given unprecedented levels of security. They are provided with armed guards as a matter of course but this surely would be increased to an unparalleled degree. Absolutely nothing will be left to chance by the security forces and no compromises taken.
After 9/11 the NFL postponed games for just one week while MLB postponed its schedule for a similar period. In no way did terrorism disturb or destroy the fabric of American society, which was its stated aim.
It is this reason, and this reason alone, why the England tour of India should recommence in one weeks time.
The terrorists slaughtered the lives of hundreds of innocent people. They inhumanely murdered men and women all over Mumbai in a pusillanimous and cowardly manner.
It is time for culture, in the form of cricket, to defeat the terrorists and to show these abominable monsters that life, humanity, and sport will destroy their malevolent intentions.
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