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banner Thursday, 13 December, 2001, 15:35 GMT
England tour goes on despite attack
ECB chief executive Tim Lamb
Lamb will not bow lightly to Dalmiya
England's cricket tour will not be affected by a suicide attack on India's parliament in which 12 people died.

"The tour will go on," David Clarke, the England team's media manager in India, told the Reuters news agency.

"It's a regrettable incident, but it's a political thing and has nothing to do with England's tour of India."

Seven policemen were killed, while the suicide bomber and four gunmen also died in the incident.

Security around the England team was already on alert because of the political situation since the 11 Semptember attacks.

Fourth Test doubt

While the current tour appears to be safe, there are still concerns over India's tour of England scheduled for next year.

England cricket chief Tim Lamb is to have crisis talks with Indian officials in an attempt to end the stalemate between the two countries concerning future fixtures.

Jagmohan Dalmiya, Lamb's controversial Indian counterpart has refused to adhere to the tour arrangements made for next summer by his predecessors.

And it means the fourth summer Test between the two countries - at The Oval - has come under real threat.

The previous Indian board agreed in writing to play four Tests in England in 2002 as well as participating in a triangular series with Sri Lanka as the third team.

As far as we are concerned we have a binding commitment
Tim Lamb

But Dalmiya has other ideas. Firstly, he is unhappy that England are only playing three Tests and five one-day internationals in India this winter.

And his stance is that India will forfeit a Test unless another one-day fixture is added when the tourists return after Christmas.

Furthermore, he wants England to play five Tests in India on the next tour here, in 2005-06.

But, say the ECB, both demands would prove extremely difficult.

Initial talks with BCCI honorary secretary Niranjan Shah while Lamb was in Chandigarh last week, proved fruitless.

Windies avenue

Since then, the ECB have examined plans for a one-off Test against another country, most likely to be West Indies, should a settlement not be reached.

A seventh Test - England face three against Sri Lanka at the start of the summer before the India series - is an obligation of commitments with sponsors and television companies.

It is also worth around 5million to the ECB, gate receipts included.

"As far as we are concerned we have a binding commitment," Lamb said.

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