London:Legendary all-rounder Ian Botham and cricketer-turned-journalist Mike Atherton have backed ECB's decision that England team should return to India to play the Test series as per schedule and said it would be a shame if the Board scraps the series.
"Terrorism is something that we as a world need to stand up against and fight. It is sadly something we've got to live with and we have done so in places like England and India for many years," Botham said.
"As far as England's cricket tour goes, they have to take advice from the people around them but I think it would be a crying shame if they are forced to call things off at the hands of terrorists," he wrote in his column for the 'Mirror'.
"We don't succumb to it in England and I do believe that if the team have the assurances of safety and security then why shouldnt they play?" he added.
The former England captain was all praise for ECB for deciding to go ahead with the Test series despite the terror attack in Mumbai which left over 100 people dead.
"It is a difficult time for the England squad and they will feel uneasy about what has happened. I can understand why they will head home and take stock for a few days, but the news that they are planning on returning to play the Tests is encouraging."
"We have to remember what happened in 2005 when a bomb went of in England during the Ashes tour, but the Australians remained and continued with their series," Botham said.
"Our cricket team are full of character and now they will get a chance to clear their heads before the Test series is scheduled to begin," he said.
Another former England captain Mike Atherton said the decision to return home was "understandable" but hoped that the Test series would go on.
"Understandably, cricketers decided yesterday that they didn't want much to do with it all. The one-day series was abandoned and the senior players, as well as the development squad, will come home.
"So while it may seem inappropriate to say so right now, I hope the Test series in two weeks' time can still go ahead. Unless the Foreign Office advice is to stay at home, it shall certainly be going," he said.