ECB security expert leaves for Chennai

With the fate of the Test series hanging in balance, ECB security adviser Reg Dickason left for Chennai for a recce of the venue that will host 1st Test.

updated: December 02, 2008 14:18 IST
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With the fate of the Test series hanging in balance, England and Wales Cricket Board security adviser Reg Dickason left for Chennai on Monday for a recce of the venue which is expected to host the first India-England Test later this month.

Dickason was with the England team which returned home abruptly abandoning the last two ODI matches following the terror attacks in Mumbai.

The jovial, moustached Australian is now back in India again to assess if the place is safe enough for Kevin Pietersen and his teammates' return for the two-match Test series.

The revised schedule had Chennai hosting the first Test from December 11 and Mohali staging the second. Dickason has been entrusted with the task of submitting a comprehensive report to the ECB, which will then determine the fate of the series.

In case Dickason gives a thumbs-up to the tour, ECB would be left with the job of convincing the players, some of whom have already developed cold feet about returning to India.

Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and Graeme Swann are uncomfortable with the security scenario in India while pacer James Anderson is likely to stay back, to be with his pregnant wife.

National selector Geoff Miller told 'The Guardian' that no player should join the touring party if they had any "sense of fear".

"Yes, I think I would go if I got clearance on security. From an England point of view representing your country is very, very big, so if you've got a clearance from security of being looked after then, yes, I would," Miller said.

"But the focus is on playing cricket so you've got to make sure you are fully focused on that job and not being side-tracked by other issues, and that's pretty difficult. I understand that," Miller said.

"If there's a sense of fear then you can't be fully focused on the job you are trying to do. These are difficult circumstances, difficult times, and you've got to have a very strong character to be able to do that," he added.