England security expert examines Indian venues

New Delhi, December 3:

The England cricket team’s security expert began his assessment of proposed Test venues today ahead of a decision on the resumption of its tour of India.

Security consultant Reg Dickason, the England team’s security adviser, examined facilities at Chennai as part of a process to determine if it is safe for England to play two Tests in India after last week’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

The England squad returned home after scrapping the last two one-day internationals of the seven-match series, which India led 5-0, in the wake of terrorists attacks that killed at least 171 people in Mumbai. Among the terrorists’ targets was Mumbai’s famous Taj Mahal Hotel, where the England cricket squad was due to stay from December 16 during the second Test of the two-match series.

The decision by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to send its Test squad to India will depend on the security report submitted by Dickason, who today assessed the security arrangements at Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium and the Taj Coromandel Hotel, where cricket teams usually stay.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India switched both Test matches to venues that are more acceptable to England. The opening Test match will now be played from December 11 in Chennai and Mohali will host the second Test from December 19.