Dickason virtually gives the nod to Chennai

ECB's security adviser Reg Dickason virtually gave the green signal to Chennai as the venue for the first Test between India and England.

updated: December 03, 2008 12:43 IST
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England and Wales Cricket Board's security adviser Reg Dickason on Wednesday virtually gave the green signal to Chennai as the venue for the first Test between India and England, saying the organisers have addressed all his concerns.

After his arrival here this morning, Dickason met BCCI secretary N Srinivasan and the top cops before inspecting the M A Chidambaram Stadium which is scheduled to host the first Test from December 11.

"We had some security concerns and those have been addressed," Dickason, who has flown in here to assess the security situation, said.

Srinivasan, also the president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, said, "As per our discussions, hopefully Chennai would be hosting the first match."

Later in a statement, Srinivasan said, "BCCI expects no problem with the first Test being held in Chennai."

City Police Commissioner K Radhakrishnan also said that Dickason was satisfied with the security arrangements being planned for the match. "He expressed satisfaction," he said.

On the security arrangements being planned for the Test, he said, "Central access control system will be installed at the vantage points and the players' viewing area and also at the team hotel. The players, upon their arrival here, will be advised to restrict their movements outside the hotel area," he said.

"The Tamil Nadu police will also provide extra security at the stadium, which will be more than the usual security arrangement and the players protection by the security staff will be watertight," Radhakrishnan added.

The fate of the Test series now hangs on Dickason's report which would determine whether Kevin Pietersen and his teammates, who returned home abruptly after the Mumbai terror attacks, would eventually play the two-match Test series.

Sent by the ECB to assess if India is safe enough for the return of the England team which left India abandoning the last two ODIs following the Mumbai attacks, Dickason had quite a hectic schedule on Wednesday.

Soon after his arrival here at 8.10 am, the Australian spent some 45 minutes in his hotel room before proceeding to Srinivasan's office where he held discussion for about 30 minutes.

From there, both went to the office of the Commissioner of Police for another 45 minutes of discussions, following which they headed to the stadium.

There Dickason inspected the dressings rooms and the players' sitting areas and after 30 minutes of inspection, Srinivasan shared his optimism with the waiting media.

"Dickason will proceed to Mohali (venue of the second Test) for discussions with the Punjab Cricket Association," the BCCI statement said.

After completing his recce, Dickason would submit a detailed report to the ECB.