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England's security expert to arrive in India

Published: Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 15:16 [IST]
 
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London: England has send their security expert Reg Dickason to India to prepare a report on safety in the country.

Dickason will reach Chennai today to view the proposed venue for the first of the two Tests against England, which is due to start on December 11.

Provided the ECB receives security clearance for Chennai and Mohali, where the second Test is now due to be played, starting on December 19, the board must then make their case to the players.

It is improbable that England will return to India with the same 15 players, with some big names likely to be missing, including Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison. But the Board of Control for Cricket in India is desperate for the tour to restart, however depleted the ranks, and, with security assurances, so is the ECB.

Much could depend on England's captain, Kevin Pietersen.

The national selector, Geoff Miller, said yesterday that no one should agree to resume the tour if he had ''a sense of fear''.

Miller was involved in yesterday's meetings with the ECB and said he would be prepared to go if he was still a player.

''Yes, I think I would go if I got clearance on security. From an England point of view representing your country is very, very big, so if you've got a clearance from security of being looked after then, yes, I would. But the focus is on playing cricket so you've got to make sure you are fully focused on that job and not being side-tracked by other issues, and that's pretty difficult.

I understand that.

''If there's a sense of fear then you can't be fully focused on the job you are trying to do. These are difficult circumstances, difficult times, and you've got to have a very strong character to be able to do that,'' he said.

''The players had their meeting in India and discussed things, although there was very little they could discuss while waiting to see what Reg and the security people said. Now they will make their own personal decisions and once they have all done that we will reassess it, but we have to reassess it quickly because the turnaround is rapid.

''We've got two big Tests to play against one of the best teams in the world. It's not only about playing those games, it's also about the build-up to them - the preparation. Obviously we've been knocked back as far as that is concerned,'' he added.

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