The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will send a security consultant to India before deciding whether or not to take part in this month’s two-Test series, the Indian cricket board said yesterday.
“The ECB will be sending their security consultant for discussions with the authorities in India before final clearance is given for the tour,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary N. Srinivasan said in a statement. “The ECB has informed BCCI that England are agreeable to tour India and play two Tests, the first at Chennai from Dec. 11 to Dec. 15 and the second at Mohali from Dec. 19 to Dec. 23. The three-day tour match has been canceled.”
England returned home last week after the attacks in Mumbai. The last two games in a seven-match one-day international series were called off.
The BCCI switched the games from Mumbai, the original second Test venue, and Ahmedabad, the first Test venue and main city in the adjoining Gujarat State in India’s western region.
The three-day warm-up game had been scheduled in Baroda, also in Gujarat.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan great Wasim Akram yesterday called on India not to break cricketing ties with Pakistan, suggesting both countries should instead play a Test match in terrorist-hit Mumbai to show solidarity.
The former Pakistan cricket captain made his remarks amid reports that the Indian government has denied its cricket team permission to tour Pakistan early next year following last week’s attacks on Mumbai.
“Cricket is not on anyone’s mind at the moment, but after three to four days both the countries must take a positive step. I suggest Pakistan and India play a Test in Mumbai so to give a clear message that we will not give in,” Wasim said. “India is like a second home for me, so whatever has happened there has hurt everyone in Pakistan including me. But if this hits our relations and cricket, it would mean that we have given in to terrorists.”
India had been scheduled to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match during a five-week tour from Jan. 4 to Feb. 19.
■ ZIMBABWE V S LANKA
Sri Lanka rounded out a 5-0 series victory in Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club on Sunday, winning by 19 runs after struggling to 152 all out having been put into bat.
Zimbabwe, whose spinners had given them a chance on a lifeless pitch at least to try to prevent the whitewash, replied with 133, hardly hot stuff and indeed they lost their last four wickets for just three runs.
This narrow triumph followed two previous close calls, where Sri Lanka had won by two wickets and then by five runs.
The first two matches in the series had ended quickly for the Sri Lankans as they bundled out the home side for 67 and 124.
Zimbabwe almost snatched it, however, in Sunday’s final effort before their late collapse.
Prosper Utseya and Keith Dabengwa put on 72 for the seventh wicket to reach 130 and Sri Lanka were showing signs of anxiety until Muralitharan captured the tail-enders amid much celebration from the visitors.
Sri Lanka’s innings was a modest effort and neither team managed to achieve a score of 200 runs in the entire series.
Captain Mahela Jayawardene had a miserable time here, scoring just 14 runs in four innings. He was out for a duck, the same as on Friday.
On this final day only Thinina Kandamby figured prominently with 40, but he required 100 balls to get there.