England to fly home on Saturday

India England

Hugh Morris

Hugh Morris addresses the assembled media in Bhubaneshwar over the decision to return home

The ECB have announced that the England squad will fly back to London on Saturday in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

England will fly to Bangalore on Friday and then back to Heathrow Airport the following day.

Both the ECB and the Board of Control for Cricket in India have made assurances that they wish the two Test matches to go ahead.

Earlier today, it was announced that the final two one-day international matches in Guwahati on November 29 and Delhi on December 2 were to be postponed indefinitely.

The England squad remained in their team hotel in Bhubaneshwar, rather than travel north-east to Guwahati.

The England Performance Programme squad will also fly home back from Bangalore tonight.

The BCCI are endeavouring to find an alternative southern venue for the second Test, which was originally scheduled to take place in Mumbai.

Hugh Morris, the ECB managing director, said: “There has been a tragedy in Mumbai and our thoughts go out to anyone involved in it.

“It is very real for us. Emotions are very high.

“We feel the home environment is a place where the players should be for a few days.

“The priority for a board, at home and overseas, is the safety and security of the players and management. We conduct regular audits and monitor the situation.

“The Test matches are in place, and unless we hear advice to the contrary those Tests will take place.

“The logistics (of a return to India) will be worked out in due course.

“We are in extraordinary times, and this won’t be the normal build-up to a Test series.”

On the subject of the possible rescheduling of the two postponed ODIs, Morris added: “Absolutely, anything is possible.

“Clearly that is a decision for another day, when we have a discussion with the BCCI.”

The first Test is due to take place in Ahmedabad from December 11-15, with the second Test, scheduled for Mumbai, to start on December 19.

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