» Cricket » To come or not to come, England to decide on Sunday

To come or not to come, England to decide on Sunday

Source: PTI
December 06, 2008 23:07 IST
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A final decision on the fate of the two-match Test series between England and India, which is under a cloud of uncertainty following the terror attacks in Mumbai, is expected to come out on Sunday when the ECB's security expert gives his report on the security scenario.

The much-anticipated report will determine whether the England team, which is currently training in Abu Dhabi, will proceed to India to resume cricketing activities after the one-day series was scrapped in the wake of the Mumbai carnage.

The England and Wales Cricket Board's security adviser Reg Dickason has already inspected the stadium and hotel in Chennai, the venue of the first Test scheduled from December 11, and had detailed discussions on the security arrangements with BCCI and police officials.

ECB's managing director Hugh Morris and England Professional Cricketers Association (EPCA) Chief Executive Sean Morris have also reached Chennai to inspect the arrangements before taking a final decision on the tour.

During the day, the ECB delegation had more discussions with BCCI and police officials who have promised to put a fool-proof security set-up in place for the team and support staff.

The trio would also inspect Mohali which hosts the second Test starting December 19.

After concluding their recce, the trio would then report back to the team management which will in turn inform the players about all the security arrangements that have been put in place.

In a bid to salvage the tour, the BCCI had come out with a revised itinerary choosing Chennai and Mohali as the new venues instead of terror-hit Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The three-day warm-up match against Board President's XI in Vadodara was also cancelled.

Soon after the recce in Chennai, Dickason had virtually given the green signal to the southern metropolis as the venue for the first Test, saying the organisers had addressed all his concerns.

"We had some security concerns and those have been addressed," Dickason had said on Wednesday.

A top BCCI source said the Board is optimistic that the tour will proceed as per schedule as the England team have been assured of the best possible security cover.

"All their security concerns have been addressed and we are hopeful that the matches will be played", the source said.

As part of the security arrangements, central access control system will be installed at the vantage points, the players' viewing area and also at the team hotel.

The players, upon their arrival in Chennai, will be advised to restrict themselves to the hotel area only.

The Tamil Nadu police will also provide extra security at the stadium, which will be more than the usual, and the players' protection by the security staff will be watertight.

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