Team England heading back to India

Published: Thursday, December 4, 2008, 9:51 [IST]
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PietersenLondon: ECB has confirmed that they are flying out to Abu Dhabi on Thursday and will resume their tour of India following days of talks with security advisors.

ECB after two days of talks with security experts and government officials announced that they will continue with the tour, which was abruptly halted following the Mumbai terror attacks.

The original Test squad will fly out today for a training camp in Abu Dhabi alongside nine members of the Performance squad and will continue on their journey to Chennai for the first Test providing the security reports satisfy their safety concerns.

Left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom will miss the tour having failed to recover from a side strain sustained during the one-day series while Nottinghamshire seamer Stuart Broad will remain behind for further treatment on a hamstring problem before flying to Chennai.

All the players in the squad have now received the reports from the ECB security team and also the recommendations that Reg Dickason, the team security adviser, has insisted the Board of Control for Cricket in India put in place.

Hugh Morris, the managing director of English cricket, intends to fly out to India alongside Sean Morris, the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, to meet Dickason and ensure all the ECB security requirements have been fully and effectively implemented for the Test venues at Chennai and Mohali.

"The only consideration in all our discussions has been the safety and security of the team and support staff," explained Hugh Morris. "We have been delighted by the input of the PCA and also the willingness of the BCCI to act upon our recommendations regarding security.

"While we have sought to reassure players that their safety is paramount we have not pressurised any player into making the trip against their will.

"Those who leave for Abu Dhabi are all anticipating travelling to India if both Sean and I are happy that Reg Dickason's security plans have been activated. The Board and players will be kept fully informed."

The nine players from the Performance squad selected to fly out to Abu Dhabi include Kent's Amjad Khan and Lancashire's Sajid Mahmood, who had been added to the one-day squad as cover for injuries before the tour was halted last week.

Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara will also fly out with Nottinghamshire's Samit Patel, Durham's Liam Plunkett and uncapped quartet Mark Davies from Durham, Kent's Robbie Joseph, Sussex's Oliver Raynor and Middlesex's Alan Richardson.

PCA chief executive Morris said: "The PCA and ECB have worked extremely closely on this issue and the players have been fully supportive throughout.

"We will access the highest calibre of security advice on a regular basis so that we can provide the players with the latest accurate information.

"I have been assured by the ECB that they would never compromise the players' safety and security."


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