England tour of India - News - Cricket: Tight security greets England on arrival
Published: Thursday, November 22, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Mumbai: Armed police and sniffer dogs greeted England crickets team when it arrived here early on Wednesday for its first tour of India in eight years. The 16-man squad, led by Nasser Hussain, and accompanying officials were whisked through immigration at the heavily guarded airport and on to the team bus.Waiting newsmen and photographers were kept at bay as stern-looking security men threw a cordon around the cricketers, who appeared tired after the eight-hour flight from London. Police vans escorted the team bus on its 12-mile journey to the city centre where the squad's luxury hotel is located."I have never seen such heavy security for a cricket team, but these are difficult times," local cricket official Ratnakar Shetty said.The touring team management is expected to hold a press conference later on Wednesday.England's first tour of India since 1993 was preceded by security fears due to the US-led strikes in nearby Afghanistan. Two selected players, seamer Andrew Caddick and off spinner Robert Croft, backed out of the trip.The England and Wales Cricket Board agreed to undertake the tour after being assured of high-level security by the Indian government.England is due to play three back-to-back Tests in December before taking a break for Christmas and New Year. The team will return to India in January for a series of five One-day Internationals.England will spend a week in Mumbai, where it will play a local team in the two-day tour opener at the Wankhede Stadium on November 18 and 19. Two three-day games in Hyderabad and Jaipur will be followed by the first Test in the northern town of Mohali from December 3.The second Test will be played in Ahmedabad and the third in Bangalore.