New Delhi:Former cricketers on Thursday welcomed the government's decision to call off the Indian team's tour of Pakistan, saying it was not the right time to play cricket under the tense atmosphere between the two countries in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.
The former cricketers said the decision was expected as the reason to cancel the tour, scheduled for early next year, was beyond sports.
Former captain Kapil Dev said the government must have taken the decision in the best interest of the country and cricketers.
"It is upto the government to decide. We have to respect the government's decision. Obviously, the government must have decided against the tour taking into account enough good reasons for it. The need of the hour is to follow the government's decision and the people's decision," he said.
Former captain Anil Kumble, who retired from international cricket during the recent series against Australia, said it was a "good decision" under the circumstances.
"It is a good decision under the circumstances. We had known that we won't be travelling to Pakistan under the present situation", he said.
Ajit Wadekar, who led the country in some famous victories abroad, felt the Indian cricketers could not be safe in Pakistan under the circumstances and the government has taken a right decision.
"Going by the current situation, the government has taken the right decision taking into account the threat on the life of our cricketers. Even if the players go ahead with the tour under this scenario they would have played under tremendous pressure. I welcome the decision," Wadekar said.
"There is no safety of (Indian) players. Pakistan does not have control over the terrorist and the attacks have been happening in front of their nose," former Test player Anshuman Gaekwad said.
Former captain Nari Contractor said, "This is something we expected. There is no way this tour could have gone on. Although some may say that politics should not be mixed up with sports, this is beyond sports and cannot be tolerated."
Former Test all-rounder Bapu Nadkarni said the decision was expected after what had happened in Mumbai.
"This is government to government decision and is not taken from cricketing angle. (But) this decision will give Indian cricketers much needed break from international cricket and it was necessary as they were playing day in and day out," Nadkarni said.
Former selection panel chairman Dilip Vengsarkar said he had said that India should not tour Pakistan, at least for a year.
"I have said it earlier, there is no point in touring Pakistan," Vengsarkar said.
Spin legend EAS Prasanna said it was not possible to tour Pakistan under the current circumstances.
"One got to understand the current situation. Under the circumstances what the government and BCCI have done is right."
Former cricketer and coach Madan Lal said after the terror attacks in Mumbai the tour to Pakistan was doomed.
"The government and the BCCI have taken the right decision in cancelling the tour in the light of terror attacks in Mumbai. In the 1970s and 80s there were problems in touring (Pakistan). I don't know how long this (stopping cricket tours) will stay on," he said.
Former cricketer TA Sekar supported the government's decision but said there could be question mark on Pakistani cricketers coming to India to play in the second season of Indian Premier League.
"Keeping in view of the situation in Pakistan the decision taken by government and BCCI is right and in the interest of Indian cricketers. We don't know what would have happened in Pakistan if we had toured. Why should they (the cricketers) take any risk?" he asked.
"Now we are back to the 1970 and 1980s when the two countries could not have cricket tours because of security problems. We have to see whether Pakistan is going to react to the decision in not allowing the Pakistani players to play in the second season of IPL," said the Delhi Daredevils manager.