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Published: Friday, November 16, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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London: The India-England cricket Test series is on a "knife-edge" and its survival still "hung in balance" and the English team will play in the first Test starting next Monday at Mohali only after getting "assurances" from Indian cricket authorities that Virendra Sehwag will not be in the team, according to British media reports.[an error occurred while processing this directive]"Only if Denis Lindsay, the series referee, receives assurances from India that Sehwag will not be selected, and the Test is therefore legitimate, will England travel to the stadium," said the 'Guardian' newspaper. Normal Test rules allow the naming of the team to be delayed until half an hour before play.The eligibility of Sehwag in the team continues to be a "burning issue" with India insisting he has served his one Test suspension and therefore was eligible for selection for the Mohali Test while the ICC stuck to its ruling that the Centurion Test in which Sehwag was not played was "unofficial"and therefore had not abided by its directive.The 'Independent' said England's participation in the Mohali Test was still in "doubt" after the BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya gave Indian selectors permission to pick Sehwag for the Test."Dalmiya however still left himself room for manoeuvre and conciliation," it said adding that "passing the problem on to the selectors... is a way out and one that would enable him not to lose too much face". The 'Guardian' injected a new element on the fate of the Mohali Test saying England are increasingly alarmed about the possibility of a crowd riot should any late inclusion by India of Sehwag, in contravention of ICC ruling that he is ineligible, oblige them to refuse to play and abandon the match.The ICC has given England guarantees that its security will not be put at risk by any last-minute instruction to withdraw from the Mohali Test as a consequence of the power struggle between the game's governing body and the Indian Board."With the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief Lord MacLaurin intimating England will not play a Test the ICC deems "unofficial", and Dalmiya still engaged in political brinksmanship, the survival of a series still hung in thebalance," it added. PTI

Sehwag eligible for Mohali Test: Dalmiya
India will not play under Denness: Dalmiya
England's tour of India

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