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England team in Abu Dhabi

Source: PTI
December 05, 2008 20:38 IST
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Hard-pressed to squeeze in some practice ahead of the two-Test series against India, Kevin Pietersen and his men lost precious little time and headed for the nets at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

The 38-strong English contingent, including 24 cricketers, which reached Abu Dhabi via Dubai, though is still waiting wait for a final go ahead from security adviser Reg Dickason before heading to India.

Meanwhile, England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Hugh Morris, who arrived with the players, left for Chennai to assess the situation in the Indian metropolis, which is scheduled to host the first Test from December 11.

Morris and England Professional Cricketers Association (EPCA) Chief Executive Sean Morris will join Dickason and the trio will also inspect Mohali, which hosts the second Test, starting December 19.

After concluding their recce, the trio will report back to the team management.

With the warm-up match in Vadodara scrapped following the Mumbai terror attacks, England's players have been left with no other option but to make do with nets.

England's bowling resources already look thin with Ryan Sidebottom out of the series with a side strain while Stuart Broad, already ruled out of the Chennai Test, could also go the same way if he doesn't recover fast from a hamstring injury he picked during the fifth ODI against India in Cuttack.

England, however, have 10 players from the Performance Squad to fall back on in case they need replacements.

While a lot will depend on the trio of Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and James Anderson, the presence of Sajid Mahmood and Amjad Khan in the Performance Squad is a matter of relief for the team management.

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