London, Dec 3: England's cricketers are likely to agree to return to India for this month's Test series after being promised tighter security following the terrorist attacks on Mumbai last week.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were locked in talks on Tuesday over the future of the tour, which was put in doubt by the team's decision to leave India before the end of the One-Day Internationals following the recent terror attacks in Mumbai.
England held further discussions with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and their final decision may not be made for another couple of days while they await an up-to-date security report from consultant Reg Dickason.
In the meantime England are considering travelling to Abu Dhabi to set up a base camp and train there before continuing their journey to Chennai.
Reports in Abu Dhabi claim England will train and play a warm-up game at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Club, citing sources at the club.
If England warm-up in Abu Dhabi and receive a positive report from Dickason, who will visit Chennai and Mohali - the venues for the two Tests on December 11 and 19, then they will be in position to start the series immediately.
"A lot of progress has been made and some extremely good and constructive meetings have taken place," ECB chairman Giles Clarke said.
"Reg is going to Chennai and we are awaiting his reports. The security advice we are receiving has not changed and we are getting a lot of help and co-operation from everyone in India.
"The Board of Control for Cricket in India are doing all it can to facilitate the tour but we must do what we have to do properly and thoroughly. It is what every England player wants and deserves."
Among the measures England are thought to have demanded from the BCCI are the introduction of a 20-man commando force at every venue and an evacuation procedure put in place in case of any untoward incidents.
But for all England's concerns, there is a desire to continue with the tour and help India recover from the Mumbai attacks, especially as Australia continued with the Ashes tour three years ago after the bombings in London.
Clarke stressed: "Under no circumstances will we allow our cricket to be dictated to by terrorists.
"India is an enormous country and there are large parts of it that have never seen terrorist activity. In 2005 the Aussies were sensible and we are doing the same here."