ODIs called off; BCCI expects England to come back for Tests

Bhubaneswar, Nov 27 (UNI) The last two ODIs between India and England have been called off following ECB's request and a final call on the Test series would be taken soon.

The terror attacks in Mumbai, which has killed more than 100 people so far, led England to make such a drastic request.

''The ODIs have been called off as requested by the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) but we are expecting them to come back for the Test series,'' BCCI secretary N Srinivasan told mediapersons here after the meeting with the ECB officials.

But it still remains to be seen if the English team would come back to play the Tests which are scheduled to be played in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

The fifth match was due to be played in Guwahati on November 29 and the final match on December 2.

The England team will not travel to Guwahati today as scheduled and will remain in Bhubaneswar overnight pending further discussions with the BCCI. The second Test is scheduled to be held in Mumbai from December 19.

The terror attacks have also raised serious doubts over India as hosts for the inaugural Champions League. ''It will be evaluated,'' Srinivasan replied when asked about the status of the tournament.

Meanwhile, ECB confirmed that it had requested the Indian board to call off the ODIs following terror attacks in Mumbai.

''The safety and security of the England team is of the utmost importance to ECB,'' ECB managing director Hugh Morris said.

''We have reviewed all our security arrangements in the light of these attacks and will be taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of the team.

''I have also briefed the England players and management on the situation as well as liaising closely with the ECB chairman and chief executive and the players' representatives,'' he added.

However, if sources close to the BCCI are to believed, the tour is as good as over and expecting England team to come back for the Test series was just hoping against hope.

England team will return back home tomorrow while the Indian team will leave from here in separate phases.

Srinivasan further dismissed suggestions that there was any pressure from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to let the England team go and said it was on ECB's request that the board came down to the decision.

England was trailing the seven-match ODI series 0-5 and had two more ODIs to play in Guwahati and Delhi after which they were due to head towards Ahmedabad and Mumbai for the two Tests.


Story first published: Friday, November 28, 2008, 13:19 [IST]
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