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Eng players won't be forced into India return: ECB

Agencies

Posted: Nov 30, 2008 at 1157 hrs IST
      

London, November 29: : England's cricketers will not be forced to return to India for the two-Test series between the two countries, the managing director for England cricket said on Sunday.

In the aftermath of attacks in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai, Hugh Morris said the England team was committed to returning to India if it was "safe and secure" to do so, and added that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was "actively" considering warm-up matches in the Middle East.

"I don't think we'd force anybody to do anything," Morris told reporters at a press conference at London's Heathrow Airport after the England team returned from India, when asked if cricketers would be forced to return if they did not want to.

"We've returned to assess the safety and security situation in India (and) the remainder of the England cricket tour of India," he said.

"We have a team of people that we rely on for our safety and security information. They're pulling that information together over the next 24 to 48 hours and, clearly, we'll assess that information when we have it."

He acknowledged that the team had a "very short timescale" to work with, with the first Test due to be played in the western city of Ahmedabad from December 11-15.

"Clearly, we are committed to going back and playing in a Test series if it is safe to do so," he said.

"Would I go back? If it was safe and secure, absolutely." The Board of Control for Cricket in India shifted the second Test from terror-hit Mumbai to the southern city of Chennai, which is scheduled to be played from December 19-23.

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