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England waiting for security report on India tour

November 30, 2008 15:56 IST

England's cricket team could decide by Monday if they will return to India for two scheduled Test matches following this week's attacks in Mumbai that killed nearly 200 people.

"Clearly, we are committed to go back to play another Test series if it is safe to do so," England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Hugh Morris told a news conference at Heathrow airport on Saturday after the team arrived back having cut short their one-day series.

Morris said a security report would be compiled within the next 48 hours and that fringe players are ready if required to replace any team members not wishing to return to India.

"I would not, if somebody felt strongly, force their arm," Morris said. "They would have the necessary information to make an informed decision but that would be a personal choice.

"We have to give them the most up-to-date security information and then clearly it will be a decision for the players to make.

"The first Test match starts on December 11 and clearly it is a very short time scale but, assuming the safety and security is OK, we would be returning in a short time."


England captain Kevin Pietersen summed up the mood of the players, saying his blood had run cold after watching events in Mumbai unfold.

"I'm still shaking from the atrocities in Mumbai," Pietersen was quoted as saying in Sunday's News of the World.

"Every time I see the footage of the carnage in the Indian city, I realise how close we were to death.

"I haven't slept thinking about the three-day rampage and siege. We were 800 miles from the attack, but suddenly we felt very vulnerable, especially as we had stayed at the targeted Taj Mahal Hotel just two weeks ago.

"It makes my blood run cold."

The decision to return home with two one-day internationals still to play was made following the bloodshed in Mumbai where luxury hotels, including the landmark Taj Palace, cafes and railway stations were targeted.

"The players, unsurprisingly, have been hugely affected by this," Morris told reporters. "We actually stayed at the Taj Palace hotel some two and a half week ago. We ate in those restaurants. We were served by the people there."

Earlier, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice-president Lalit Modi said the Test matches would definitely go ahead. The second match in Mumbai, to be played from December 19-23, has been shifted to Chennai.

The sixth one-day match was scheduled for Guwahati on Saturday and the final game in New Delhi on December 2. India were 5-0 up in the series.

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