India move test from Mumbai to Chennai

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Indian cricket board has switched the second test against England to Chennai from Mumbai in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Friday confirmed the two-test series next month would go ahead after the England squad briefly returns home following the shortened limited-overs series.

The first test will be in Ahmadabad as scheduled from 11 December and the second test, due to be played 19-23 December at Mumbai, has been shifted to Chennai on the same dates.

The England squad was leaving India on Friday, two days after a chain of militant attacks across India's financial center of Mumbai left at least 143 people dead.

"India's test series against England will be played as per schedule," BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan said. The warmup match between England and the Indian Board President's XI in Baroda will also go ahead as originally planned on December 5-7.

England's cricket team left the eastern city of Bhubaneswar on Friday for Bangalore on the first leg of its journey home after the last two limited-overs internationals in a seven-match series were canceled. India already had a 5-0 lead in the series.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also sent its second-string squad, which was in the southern city of Bangalore, home to London on Friday.

The ECB said its team will be back in India pending a security clearance.

"It's always a huge challenge to play cricket over here in India. I would be confident the players will come over here full of enthusiasm and wanting to do well," ECB managing director Hugh Morris said.

England had been set to stay at Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace hotel, one of two luxury hotels targeted in the attacks by extremists overnight Wednesday.

"Both the ECB and the Board of Control for Cricket in India have made assurances that the two test matches will go ahead," the ECB said in a statement.

Indian organizers have also postponed the Champions League Twenty20 tournament that was to be played Dec. 3-10 at three venues — Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore — featuring eight teams.

Teams from Australia, South Africa, England and Pakistan had been scheduled to play in the inaugural Champions League.