Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice president Lalit Modi said yesterday that his country’s two-Test series against England would go ahead despite terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
After the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that it was still considering whether to abandon the tour because of security concerns, Modi said the only change to the schedule would be to move the second match from Mumbai to another venue in the south of the country.
The teams were set to play the first Test in Ahmedabad from Dec. 11, with the second match due to start on Dec. 19 in Mumbai, which has been hit by overnight attacks that killed more than 100 people.
“The Tests are going on,” Modi said. “Definitely.”
ECB managing director Hugh Morris said that he had discussed the situation with the players and hoped to make an announcement later in the day following more security briefings.
“It’s an evolving situation and we are taking security advice from a number of sources,” Morris said at a news conference.
Morris denied that the ECB had already asked the BCCI to call off the Tests, although the bodies have already agreed to postpone the last two one-day matches in Guwahati and New Delhi. India leads the seven-match series 5-0.
“We have to see if it is practical and possible to reschedule that,” Modi said.
England had been set to stay at Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace hotel, which was targeted in the attacks, ahead of the second Test.
“Whenever England go to play cricket we have security advice and we act on that advice,” Morris said. “If the security advice is it is safe and secure for players and management to go, that is what we will do.”
India’s cricket chiefs were yesterday forced to abandon England’s one-day series and postpone the cash-rich Twenty20 Champions League following the Mumbai attacks.
The BCCI accepted England’s request to cancel the last two matches of the seven-game series, as talks began to save next month’s two Test matches.
The games in Guwahati on Saturday and New Delhi on Dec. 2 held only academic interest, with India having already taken a 5-0 lead over Kevin Pietersen’s men.
“England’s request to cut short the one-day series in light of the disturbing events in Mumbai has been accepted,” BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan said in a statement. “The last two one-dayers have been called off as a result.”
Srinivasan was holding talks with ECB officials in the eastern city of Bhubaneswar over the fate of the Test series.
Hugh Morris, the ECB’s managing director of England cricket, said discussions were being held to see if the rest of the tour could take place even as the players were confined to their hotel in Bhubaneswar.
England’s High Performance squad, which is currently training in Bangalore, was awaiting guidance from the British government on the future of its own tour.