England confirms Test series will go on

Published: Friday, November 28, 2008, 12:28 [IST]
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New Delhi: England Cricket Board on Thursday night confirmed that it has given assurances to the BCCI to return to India and play the two-match Test series starting on December 11.

The ECB in a statement said the English team, which is now in Bhubaneswar, will fly back home on Friday but will come back to play the Test series.

"The ECB have announced that England will fly back to London tomorrow in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. But both the ECB and the BCCI have made assurances that the two Test matches will go ahead," the statement said.

The ECB also confirmed that BCCI was working on shifting the second Test from Mumbai where more than 100 people were killed in terror attack last night.

Indian players head back home

"The BCCI are endeavouring to find an alternative southern venue for the second Test." Hugh Morris, the ECB managing director, said, "Emotions are very high. We feel the home environment is a place where the players should be for a few days."

"The priority for a board, at home and overseas, is the safety and security of the players and management. We conduct regular audits and monitor the situation."

"The Test matches are in place, and unless we hear advice to the contrary those Tests will take place. The logistics (of a return to India) will be worked out in due course."

"We are in extraordinary times, and this won't be the normal build-up to a Test series." On the subject of the possible rescheduling of the two postponed ODIs, Morris added, "Absolutely, anything is possible." "Clearly that is a decision for another day, when we have a discussion with the BCCI."

ICL World series called off

BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi said earlier in the day that the Test series will be held as per schedule but the second match in Mumbai could be shifted to another venue. After prolonged negotiations with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) officials, Modi said that the Test series will begin as per schedule in Ahmedabad on December 11.

Modi said that the second Test in Mumbai could be shifted to an alternative venue. "The series will go on as per schedule. Only the second match in Mumbai would be shifted to some other venue which we have not decided yet."

He said BCCI was thinking of shifting the second Test to a venue most likely in South India.

Earlier, the one-day series between the two countries was called off after a meeting of BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan with ECB Managing Director Hugh Morris in Bhubaneswar which was also attended by visiting skipper Kevin Pietersen, coach Peter Moores and team manager Reg Dickason.

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