ECB managing director of England Cricket, Hugh Morris, confirmed that the Performance Squad including Michael Vaughan, Monty Panesar and Andrew Strauss, who have been based in Bangalore and were due to travel to Mumbai in a couple of days, will travel home immediately in wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
The ECB will wait for security advice before deciding if they are to proceed with the tour. Already the two remaining one-day internationals between the two sides have been cancelled but the governing body are yet to decide their participation in the two-Test series. Strauss and Panesar were expected to be named in England’s Test squad.
The first Test is scheduled to start in Ahmedabad on Dec 11 with the second and final match due to get under way on Dec 19 in Mumbai.
However, BCCI vice president Lalit Modi has claimed that the Test series will go ahead, with the second Test resheduled for somewhere in the south of India.
"The two Test matches are going on, the only issue is that the Mumbai test will be moved," he said.
"In the next hour or so I will try to schedule that in another location.
"Chances are it will be somewhere in the south of India but we need to see which venues are available."
The England team were scheduled to travel to Guwahati this afternoon but have remained in Bhubaneswar while the future of the tour is discussed. Players have remained relaxed throughout the course of events and spent time playing table tennis with talks ongoing.
England are considering a number of options, one of which is to temporarily return home.
Morris said: "It is an evolving situation and we are taking security advice from a number of different sources, as we always do.
"We’re looking a number of different options, going home is one of the options we’re looking at.
"If the security advice is it is safe and secure for players and management to go, that is what we will do.
"Terrorism is a global issue and very real to us. We do not want to compromise the safety and security of our players. That’s why we have a security manager on tour with us."
England were due to stay in the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, scene of one of the terrorist attacks, ahead of the Mumbai Test.
The team stayed there earlier on the tour and Middlesex were also due there today before cancelling travel plans. The Champions League has since been postponed until the new year.
"Players are keen to play international cricket and that has come through loud and clear. But there is a significant issue that is affecting everyone in India at the moment and around the world and the players are not blind to that fact," Morris added.
"If it is safe and secure for to play in any country as an England team then that I what we’ll do."
While returning home is expected to be England's likely course of action, it has been mooted in some quarters that the tour squad could fly to Dubai and allow the situation calm down.
Meanwhile, Dilwar Mani, president of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council has indicated that the UAB would be a logical choice for future Indian internationals in wake of the current atrocities.
"If requested then most certainly we would be interested in hosting India, or the Champions League," Mani told the Telegraph.
"We're very proud of our facility as well as the surroundings. We would be extremely pleased to help out with anything related to cricket.
"We are not trying to be opportunistic, but if the cricket boards would like to find alternative venues then we have proved we can be a successful host.
"The UAE is a safe country, and we have consistently supported the game."Original here