England and India back Edgbaston security

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The Independent Online

England and India are placing their faith in security experts who have so far told them there is no reason to doubt the Edgbaston Test will go ahead tomorrow.

A summer of riots spread to Birmingham last night, confining both teams to their city-centre hotels while police battled to contain the looters.

But while a string of football matches - including England's friendly against Holland at Wembley tomorrow night - have been cancelled because of disturbances in other urban areas, the third npower Test appears set to take place as scheduled.

England captain Andrew Strauss reported today that he and his team have been told they are "100% safe", and his opposite number Mahendra Singh Dhoni is receiving similarly reassuring advice.

Several members of the home team tweeted from their hotel last night about the disorder outside, but they appeared at ease when they arrived for practice at Edgbaston this morning.

Strauss said: "It hasn't really affected us or our preparation much at all.

"All these things are determined either by our security team or the authorities that are running the match.

"We have been given no indication that the game isn't going ahead, so it's right for us to prepare as we normally would.

"I don't think we have been distracted by it."

Strauss and Dhoni are both saddened by events which - although nowhere near the level of threat encountered by both in the shape of the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008 - have again beset a high-profile series between England and India

"Clearly there are big things going on in the country at the moment," said Strauss.

"To say they're affecting us greatly would be wrong.

"The way we have looked at these sorts of circumstances is our security manager is there for a reason and he has got to determine what is safe for us - either to go away on tour or play a game of cricket.

"So far he has said it's 100% safe.

"You should always go on their advice, and that's certainly the advice we took when we went back to India after the terrorist attacks.

"I don't think we feel unsafe."

A small group of England players were told to return to their hotel when it became clear there was likely to be an escalation in last night's violence.

"A few of the guys were out early - I wasn't actually," said the captain.

"We got some advice from our security manager to come back to the hotel, because there were obviously some disturbances going on in the city centre.

"From then on you could see the odd police car going back and forth, but otherwise we were quite isolated from what was going on."

Several members of the India team found themselves closer to the danger zones.

"We were outside shopping in the city centre," said Dhoni.

"We came back and had plans to go for dinner. But Zak, our security officer who is with us, said it's better to stay in the hotel.

"There's quite good food in the hotel, so we didn't really complain - and made the most of the evening."

India will happily continue to be guided by the experts.

"Wherever you are, if things like this happen it's sad," added Dhoni.

"I don't think there's much we can do as individuals or cricketers, so we're sticking to what we can do - practising for the game tomorrow.

"We are cricketers, not professional guys who know about security - so let's leave it to them. They will be the ones who decide what needs to be done.

"Cricketers get ready for the next game, and that's what I think is important for us.

"We are avoiding things we can avoid, doing the things we can do to be secure.

"Let's hope there isn't any security scare."

The pressing question, however, is whether those security experts may have to think again should there be a recurrence of trouble overnight.

Mindful of that, Strauss' England are prepared to keep a low profile in Birmingham - and stick to hotel and ground throughout the match, if necessary.

"We're not sure whether these things are going to escalate or calm down very quickly," he said.

"In a lot of ways in terms of preparing for a Test match, it's wrong for us to spend too much time thinking about that.

"We've been advised to stay out of the city centre both this afternoon and this evening.

"But there are bigger problems out there than whether we have our 'latte' out in Birmingham or not. I'm sure we will be fine."