England practice in Abu Dhabi, ECB official leaves for Chennai

Kevin Pietersen and his men lost precious little time after landing in Abu Dhabi and headed for the nets at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday.

updated: December 05, 2008 13:53 IST
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Abu Dhabi:

Hard pressed to squeeze in some practice ahead of the Test series against India, Kevin Pietersen and his men lost precious little time and headed for the nets at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday.

A 38-strong English contingent, including 24 cricketers, reached here via Dubai to get some practice ahead of the two-match Test series and are waiting wait for a final go ahead from security adviser Reg Dickason before heading to India.

Meanwhile, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Hugh Morris, who arrived with the players, left for Chennai to assess the situation in the Indian metropolis which is scheduled to host the first Test from December 11.

Morris and England Professional Cricketers Association (EPCA) Chief Executive Sean Morris will join Dickason and the trio would also inspect Mohali which hosts the second Test starting December 19.

After concluding their recce, the trio would then report back to the team management which would then ask the team to proceed for India.

As the ECB officials evaluate the security system in India, the cricketers decamps here for a weekend of training.

With the warm-up match in Vadodara scrapped following the Mumbai terror attacks, England players have been left with no other option but to make do with nets.

England's bowling resources already look thin with Ryan Sidebottom out of the series with a side strain while Stuart Broad, already ruled out of the Chennai Test, could also go the same way if he doesn't recover fast from a hamstring injury he picked up during the fifth ODI against India in Cuttack.

England, however, have 10 players from the Performance Squad to fall back on in case they need replacements.

While a lot would depend on the Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and James Anderson trio, the presence of Sajid Mahmood and Amjad Khan in the Performance Squad would be a matter of relief for the team management.