England cancels ODI series; Tests to go on, says BCCI

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Bhubneshwar/New Delhi, Nov 27 (UNI) England today cancelled its remaining two matches of the ODI series and the team will return back home tomorrow in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai although, a final decision on the Test series was yet to be taken.

England was to play two ODIs in Guwahati on November 29 and December 2, while Tests were scheduled to be played in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had requested the Indian Board to call off the remaining matches of the ODI series which was accepted by the BCCI after the terrorist .

''The BCCI has accepted the request of the ECB to cut short the one-day series in light of the disturbing events in Mumbai and as a result the last two ODIs have been called off,'' BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said.

Heavily armed terrorists in Mumbai have so far killed over 100 people leaving scores injured.

However, the BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi said the Test series will go ahead as scheduled and the second Test which was due to be played in Mumbai could be moved to a southern India city.

''The Test series will go on. The ECB has requested us for a change of venue of the second Test and we are examining it,'' Modi said.

Meanwhile, the ECB welcomed the decision and said it was grateful to the Indian board for accepting its request to cancel the remaining ODIs.

It further endorsed the BCCI's comments on the Test series and said it will seek an advice from its security experts before taking a final call on the two-Test series.

''We are obviously taking security advice from a number of different sources. We are looking at a number of different options,'' ECB managing director Hugh Morris said.

''The events are still unfolding. We will consult the British High Commission and our security advisors before we take a final call on the Test series.

''But yes, the ODI series stands cancelled and the ECB is grateful to the BCCI to agree to our requests,'' he added.

''The safety and security of the England team is of the utmost importance to ECB. 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.

The ECB managing director further added that the English team will continue to stay here at their team hotel for next 24 hours and would fly back to home tomorrow.

He said this morning he had a meeting with the senior players of the team and apprised them of the tragic event that had taken place in Mumbai.

The players, he said, were desperately sorry for all those caught in the terrorist attack in Mumbai and were very much disturbed.

He said the ECB had a meeting with the security advisor this morning after the Mumbai incident and talked to the British High Commissioner and various security sources in India before submitting their views to the BCCI.

England have played five ODIs so far and is trailing 0-5 in the series but the terror attacks in Mumbai, which have killed over 100 people so far, have forced the visitors to take a drastic decision of this magnitude.

The Champions League has also been postponed following the particpating team's reluctance to tour India under prevailing conditions.

The England team will now stay at their team hotel today and fly back home tomorrow.

In past couple of months, Delhi and Guwahati, the venues for the remaining two ODIs, have witnessed terrorists attacks and with another major attack in the financial capital of India, the English team was apprehensive about continuing its tour.

In October last month, there were as many as 18 serial bomb blasts in Guwahati, while a couple of months back, Delhi also faced similar serial bomb blasts which rocked the nation.

The attack in Mumbai must be more of a concern to the English team as the terrorists, who have a few hostages with them in The Taj Mahal Hotel and the Trident Hotel, were asking for the people with US and UK passports.

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