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Rediff.com  » Sports » Pietersen confident first Test will go ahead

Pietersen confident first Test will go ahead

December 05, 2008 11:01 IST

England captain Kevin Pietersen said on Thursday he was confident that his team would travel to India for next week's first Test in Chennai despite the recent atrocities in the country.

England's squad were flying to Abu Dhabi on Thursday to practise while England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) security experts evaluate the situation in Chennai where the first Test is scheduled to start next Thursday.

They returned home last week after the one-day international series was cut short following the militant attacks in Mumbai that killed 171 people.

"We've bought ourselves some more time in Abu Dhabi," Pietersen told reporters at Heathrow airport before boarding the plane. "It's very important that we go back, shoulder to shoulder with the Indian people in their time of need.

"What we want to do is show our support by hopefully playing some Test match cricket. We will assess the situation on Sunday but I'm very confident that we will go to play a Test match next week in Chennai."

However, Pietersen said the players would not make a final decision until they had received all the latest reports from the ECB's security manager Reg Dickason and Sean Morris, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers Association.

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"There is a collective amongst the guys," he said. "The guys that go out there now are just waiting on the reports from Reg and Sean.

"If there are any major alarm bells ringing then I think he will be ringing to say that the collective decision is to come home. But as it stands at the moment the boys are focused on going to play some red ball cricket in Abu Dhabi and then hopefully the Test match on Thursday in Chennai."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown offered his support to England's players who have found themselves in a difficult position since events unfolded in India.

"These are very brave and courageous players and they want rightly to make their own decisions as individuals about what they do," Brown said in an interview on BBC Radio.

"We will give them all the security advice that is necessary (and) they have their own security advisers as well."

Managing Director of England Cricket Hugh Morris said discussions were continuing with the Indian authorities and cricket board on Thursday.

"We have made it absolutely clear that the safety and security of the players and the ECB employees is of paramount importance and we need to make sure the necessary security is in place," he said.

The first Test was moved to Chennai from Ahmedabad. The second will take place in Mohali instead of the original venue of Mumbai.

Source:
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