England team arrives in Chennai amidst tight security

December 8th, 2008 - 11:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Dec 8 (IANS) The England cricket team, led by skipper Kevin Pietersen, arrived here Monday evening in two batches from Abu Dhabi for the first of the two Test matches against India beginning here Thursday.The players were whisked into waiting vehicles that took them to their hotel in the city after officials of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association received them at the airport.

The England contingent had halted in Abu Dhabi en route to India while awaiting clearance from ECB security advisor Reg Dickason who visited Chennai to assess security arrangements before giving the go-ahead to travel to India.

England team is scheduled for a training session at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium Tuesday morning while Indian team will have their nets in the afternoon.

Both India and England teams are lodged at the Taj Connemara Hotel that is part of the group of hotels whose flagship the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai was one of the targets of last week’s terrorist attack.

The teams have been provided unprecedented security that has made the players virtually inaccessible even to the media.

England are scheduled to play two Tests - in Chennai (Dec 11-15) and Mohali (Dec 19-23).

However, there is speculation about a possible change of the second Test to Bangalore in view of Mohali’s geographical proximity to Pakistan.

A final decision on the venue would be taken after an assessment by Dickason.

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