England fly to Abu Dhabi Thursday en route to India

December 4th, 2008 - 3:10 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 4 (IANS) The England cricket team will fly to Abu Dhabi Thursday and will train in the desert city en route to India for the first Test in Chennai starting Tuesday after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) gave a green signal to the tour.ECB security advisor Reg Dickason Wednesday examined the security measures in Chennai and apparently gave his report following which the English team was asked to pack its bags for the unfinished India tour.

All the players have received reports from the ECB security team and the recommendation by Dickason has been noted by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

ECB managing director Hugh Morris and Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) chief executive Sean Morris are all set to fly to India and will meet Dickason to ensure that requirements are in place at the Test venues in Chennai and Mohali.

“We’ve spoken over the last 48 hours with every player on at least two and probably three occasions. Sean and I spoke to each player together and clearly for those who were out in India, it’s been a very traumatic experience,” said Hugh.

“I am just delighted that everyone will be on the plane for Abu Dhabi. I think it’s very important and shows a lot of solidarity. (Captain) Kevin Pietersen has been incredibly supportive, and it’s nice to see the players lining up behind him,” he added.

England’s tour was abruptly halted following the terror attacks in Mumbai last week, and the team flew back home Saturday putting the series in doubt.

England opener Andrew Strauss said the biggest problem the players would face was not worrying about security, but the lack of preparation.

“To begin with, there was a lot of shock and emotion as it seemed close to home. When things like that happen, you think about being with your family and cricket’s not such a priority,” Strauss was quoted as saying by BBC Five Live.

“But after a few days to let things settle down, we’ve been able to look at things logically and objectively — it seems the right thing to do for cricket and for the England team,” he said.

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