NEW DELHI // Chennai could stage the first Test and Mohali the second in this month's series against England if the two boards agree to go ahead with the series, an Indian cricket official said yesterday. The first Test was scheduled for Ahmedabad while the second Test was switched from Mumbai to Chennai following a request from the England board. "Chennai and Mohali are the venues under discussion but the England board will have to come back to us," the official said. The England board will assess security in India before deciding whether to return or not. "The ECB will be sending their security consultant for discussions with the authorities in. India before final clearance is given for the tour," the board said in a statement. The ECB have hired the services of Reg Dickason to consult them on security matters. While the ICC and many former players hoped the captain Kevin Pietersen will agree to take the tour ahead, the former England spinner Robert Croft has revealed his regret at pulling out of a previous tour of India. The ECB have left the choice to individual players if they decide to go ahead with the series after calling off the remaining two out of seven one-day internations last month. Croft had decided against going to India in 2001 because of security concerns, after which he did not play international cricket again. "Having made the decision in the past [to pull out], I would probably change my decision that I made then," Croft said. "I think there will be a lot of sub-conscious pressure on [captain] Kevin Pietersen to go. "I remember, in 2001, I felt there was a lot of pressure on Nasser Hussain to go because a lot of people were looking at if the captain pulls out, then it's a lot easier for players to pull out."
Croft believes the ECB will make the right decision. "I think, knowing Hugh Morris, the managing director, I played with him at Glamorgan. He was a very, very conscientious individual when he played and I'm sure everything is very similar now," Croft said. "On security grounds, there's no security company in the world that will ever guarantee safety. You just can't guarantee safety when you go shopping down the road." * Agencies