ICL: Indian Cricket League

England fly home but Tests go ahead


England have cut short the ongoing one-day series against India following Wednesday’s terrorist strikes in Mumbai and will fly back home on Saturday morning. However, Lalit Modi, the head of the BCCI’s fixtures committee, and Hugh Morris, the ECB’s managing director, both confirmed the Test series would still go ahead.

“The Test series will go ahead, and there is no problem with that,” Modi told Cricinfo. “We are sure the first Test will go ahead as scheduled in Ahmedabad [from December 14]. But there is a problem over hosting the second Test in Mumbai [from December 19]. The ECB wants the Test to be shifted to southern India, we are exploring all options.”

Bangalore and Chennai are among the venues being considered and Modi said a final decision would be taken in the next 24 hours after discussions with the ground authorities.

The decision to postpone the remaining two ODIs of the seven-match series was taken during a meeting between BCCI secretary N Srinivasan, England’s managing director Morris, and the Indian team management in Bhubaneshwar. England did not travel to Guwahati on Thursday as scheduled and will remain in Bhubaneshwar overnight before flying to Bangalore, where they will spend Friday night, before boarding a plane home on Saturday.

“It’s very, very real and emotions are very high. It’s a sensitive time. The home environment is where the players should be for a few days,” Morris told Sky Sports News. “The Test matches are in place and, unless we get security advice to the contrary, they will be going ahead.”

The Indian team, which had a meeting mid-day, was informed by the BCCI about England’s position. “We have been told England are going back home. So we are going to our homes,” Venkatesh Prasad, India’s bowling coach, told Cricinfo. As of now, the Indian team has been asked to assemble in Ahmedabad on December 8, three days before the scheduled start of the first Test start against England.

The ICC said they had “no role to play in the current situation” regarding the England tour of India. “The arrangements for the tour itself is strictly a bilateral matter,” an ICC spokesperson said. “The only time we would play a part is if there is a disagreement between the boards about whether the tour would proceed or not. In that case there would be a security assessment binding with the two boards.”

England’s High Performance squad’s tour has also been called off and the players, currently training in Bangalore, will travel home immediately. The squad, which includes Michael Vaughan, Monty Panesar and Andrew Strauss, was scheduled to reach Mumbai on December 3 to play a practice game and train with the England Test side.

The strikes, including blasts and shooting incidents, were spread out across the city but the majority of them were in south Mumbai, the main tourist hub. In the early hours of Thursday morning, a major blaze was sweeping through the Taj Mahal hotel, a city landmark and the scene of one such attack, which was to host the two Test teams and was where the England side stayed during their warm-up period in Mumbai.

It is also where Middlesex were set to check-in on Thursday for their Champions League fixtures. Middlesex were due to leave London for Mumbai at 10am on Thursday to prepare for the Champions League but postponed their departure by 24 hours after being told that matches scheduled for Mumbai would be switched to Bangalore.

The Brabourne Stadium, venue of the second Test and scheduled to host three Champions League games, is in the middle of the area where most attacks have taken place. It is also the vicinity where most foreign tourists are likely to stay.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Friday, November 28th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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