England team leaves Bhubaneshwar

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Bhubaneshwar, Nov 28 : England's cricket team left Bhubaneshwar on Friday for Bangalore on the first leg of its journey home after the last two One Day Internationals (ODI) against India in a seven-match series were cancelled.

India already had a 5-0 lead in the series.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also sent its second-string squad, which was in Bangalore, home to London on Friday.

England opted on Thursday to return home from India after militant attacks in Mumbai killed at least 119 people but promised to return for two cricket tests next month.

The decision followed an announcement that the two remaining ODIs would be cancelled. Officials said later the games could be rescheduled.

Tests are scheduled for Ahmedabad from December 11-15 and Mumbai from December 19-23.

England held meetings at the team hotel in Bhubaneswar after losing their fifth one-day match in succession to India on Wednesday.

England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Hugh Morris said the team would be guided by security advice.

However, any decision appeared to be pre-empted when Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice-president Lalit Modi said the test series would go ahead with the Mumbai match shifted to a venue in southern India.

Morris then told reporters the team management had decided to go home but would come back for the test series.

Modi said he had been told that the England players would leave the country in the two-week gap between the one-day and test series.

Next month's Twenty20 Champions League, featuring teams from Australia, South Africa, England, India and Pakistan, was postponed and the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL) cancelled their match in Ahmedabad.

Cricket on the Indian sub-continent has been blighted by security scares for the past 20 years.

New Zealand has abandoned two tours of Sri Lanka and one of Pakistan after bomb blasts. Australia and West Indies refused to play their Sri Lanka group matches at the 1996 World Cup following an explosion in Colombo.

This year the International Cricket Council (ICC) postponed the Champions League one-day tournament scheduled in Pakistan for the first time after five countries, including England, said they would not take part because of security fears.

ANI

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