Hijack threats cast shadow on England tour

Published: Friday, December 5, 2008, 10:46 [IST]
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London: ECB is keeping a close watch on the  developing security situation at India's aiports and will take a final decision on returning to India for the Test series only after getting the security clearance.

Strict vigil is maintained at major airports in India after after reports they had received threats of attacks by hijacked aircraft, adding to the tense atmosphere surrounding the future of the tour.

"Obviously we are concerned, but what we need to do is find out the information," said Morris, the managing director of England cricket, at Heathrow airport ahead of the squad's departure for the Middle East. "I havespoken to the security team in Chennai this morning already to find out exactly what the situation is with the alerts. When we get that information it'll be fed back to me, to the board and form part of the security audit that we're undertaking.

"We feel as though going to Abu Dhabi provides us with practice before the first Test series, and it also gives us some more time to implement our security plans on the ground - they are in Chennai at the moment - and that is how we're proceeding."

Kevin Pietersen, the England captain, said he'd seen news of the airport situation this morning but insisted he was concentrating on the Test series. "It'll buy us some more time in Abu Dhabi and I think it's fantastic that we're going to demonstrate in India that we're showing our support to play Test match cricket. I think it's very important we go and rub shoulder to shoulder with the indian people in their time of need, and I'm very confident that we have 15 lads who will be playing Test cricket next week."

Full-strength England team head to Abu Dhabi

Meanwhile ECB's security expert Dickason took stock of the security arrangements at the M A Chidambaram stadium, venue for first Test in Chennai, and will fly to Abu Dhabi on Sunday to deliver a final security report, which will determine whether England will proceed to India for the two-match Test series.


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