Sydney:Recently deposed Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson, a former Australian Test bowler, has condemned England's decision to abandon its cricket tour to India over security fears, saying the move smacked of double standards.
England quit India in the wake of terrorist attacks in Mumbai, leaving two limited-overs matches unplayed. India and England are due to meet in the first of two Tests in India from December 11 but media reports indicate English players are loathe to return to India.
"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 Monday. "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."
Lawson said cricket should not allow terrorist to dictate international schedules.
"If you stop events that aren't particularly and directly threatened you're just succumbing to terrorism and they succeed," he said. "So far, the facts are no sporting event, let alone a cricket event, has ever been threatened.
"There's no guarantees and you can never say never but what are you going to do? Are you just going to say 'that's it, where there's terrorism we just won't go there on holidays, we won't do anything.' That will be one huge victory for these people, and that is exactly what you don't want."
Lawson said any moves to switch 2011 World Cup, set to be hosted jointly by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, to another venue would not remove the threat of a terrorist attack.
"No matter where you hold that event in the cricket world it could be open to terrorism," he said.
"Whether it's going to be Christchurch (New Zealand) or Alice Springs (central Australia), it's not really going to matter. If they (terrorists) want to do something they'll find a way."
Lawson was a critic of Australia's decision not to tour Pakistan earlier this year and was also opposed to canceling the Champions Trophy in September. He was fired as Pakistan coach last month.