Mohali Test on, ECB gives green signal (Lead)

December 10th, 2008 - 11:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Mohali (Punjab), Dec 10 (IANS) The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Wednesday evening formally gave its clearance for the second Test against India at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium here from Dec 19.Citing the example of England that hosted Australia for the 2005 Ashes series only two weeks after the London bombings, ECB managing director Hugh Morris said: “Cricket should go on and no terror attack can deter the spirit of our players. I am really delighted that England players decided to come back to play in the Test match series.”

“Players’ security is of paramount importance for us and we found everything in place here. We had talked to local security agencies here and we are more than satisfied with the security arrangements made at PCA. England will play the second match here without any fear,” Morris said.

The clearance came after top ECB officials, including Morris, CEO of the Professional Cricketers’ Association Sean Morris and security adviser Reg Dickason, inspected security preparations at the stadium here Wednesday and interacted with police officers here and in adjoining Chandigarh, where the England cricket team will stay.

Both teams will arrive here Dec 16 after the first test match at Chennai, which starts Thursday.

Dickason, who arrived here Tuesday, checked the security arrangements in the stadium and at the Taj Hotel in Chandigarh, 10 km from here.

Meanwhile, PCA president I.S. Bindra said: “We are expecting a wonderful series ahead. We are ready to host the Test match and the sale of tickets will start Friday.”

The two-Test series was on the verge of being called off after the Mumbai terror attacks. The England team, which was in India and playing a seven-match one-dayer series, abruptly left the country when the two remaining ODIs were called off after the attacks in the western Indian metropolis.

The team returned earlier this week after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the security agencies assured foolproof protection for the players.

Both Tests at Chennai and Mohali will be played under unprecedented security.

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