England remain ready to return

India England
Hugh Morris

Hugh Morris insisted England will play the Test series in India if it is safe to do so

ECB managing director Hugh Morris has reiterated England are prepared to return to India for the Test series should a thorough security assessment confirm it is safe to do so.

The team returned to London this evening after cutting short the one-day series against India in the wake of the attacks in Mumbai this week which have left 195 people dead.

Morris, spoking during a press conference at Heathrow Airport, said: "We are committed to going back, to playing in the Test series assuming it is safe to do so."

He added that the players will not be forced to return to India to play in the two Tests, starting on December 11 in Ahmedabad.

"I do not think we would force anybody to do anything," said Morris.

"I would not, if somebody felt strongly, force their arm. They would have the necessary information to make an informed decision but that would be a personal choice.

"We have to give them the most up-to-date security information and then clearly it will be a decision for the players to make.

"We have come back to assess the safety and security situation in India. We have a team of people that we rely on for our safety and security information.

"They are pulling that information together over the next 24 to 48 hours and clearly we will assess that information when we have it.

Hugh Morris & Andrew Walpole

Morris and ECB international teams media relations general manager Andrew Walpole at Heathrow

"The first Test match starts on December 11 and clearly it is a very short time scale but assuming the safety and security is OK, we would be returning in a short time.

"We take advice from a team of people who have expertise in security. We have our own team, other advisors and work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, there is a whole host of information we pull together."

One of the main targets was the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, where England stayed at the start of their tour and were due to return for the second Test.

Morris, who offered his condolences to all those affected in the attacks, admitted the players were concerned about the current situation.

"Everybody has been affected by the terrible goings-on in Mumbai," he added.

"It has affected the players as much as everybody. We are committed to going back and playing in the Test series when it is safe to do so.

"There's a degree of nervousness, there's no doubt about that. That's only natural. It's affected everybody."

Follow on Facebook

Facebook

Become a member of the official fan community of England cricket on Facebook right now - and get your opinions heard!

Get our free apps

Apps Promo

Download the ECB Cricket app for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or Nokia phones and get live scores, news, video and other services on the move