Power battle looms large over English return to India

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London, Nov 29 (UNI) In wake of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is bracing itself for a potential confrontation over its right to run the game if security reports judge that the Test series in India should go ahead.

The BCCI has shifted the second Test venue from Mumbai to Chennai after a request from the ECB for a venue in southern India.

The first Test remains in Ahmedabad, another city that has suffered recent terrorist violence, and the warm-up match has yet to be moved from Vadadora.

The dates of the game are unchanged, with the Chennai Test beginning on December 19.

The majority of England's squad will arrive at Heathrow this evening after flying yesterday from Bhubaneshwar to Bangalore to join the High Performance squad.

Many England players have been adamant that they will not return, although it remains to be seen if those feelings will soften. An intense week of negotiations between the ECB and players' representatives is now inevitable.

That debate will be partly based on an updated report compiled by England's security officer Reg Dickason.

Captain Kevin Pietersen has warned that the visitors may not return to India if the security situation does not improve.

England has already pulled out of the remaining two ODIs of the seven-match series.

''We need to make sure the security's right - but if it's not safe then we won't be coming back,'' Pietersen was quoted as saying by the 'Guardian'yesterday.

''I'll never force anyone to do anything or tell them to do anything against their will. On the field I may ask people to do things in a certain way but people run their own lives. We'll have to see how the security is.'' The terror attacks in Mumbai have also affected the Twenty20 Champions League, which has been pushed back to early next year.

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