Champions League cricket postponed after terror attacks (Lead)

November 27th, 2008 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 27 (IANS) Cricket’s inaugural Champions League has been postponed following the terror strikes in the city here Wednesday night.The decision was taken Thursday by the league’s Governing Council after consultations with the three founding board members - Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket Australia (CA) and Cricket South Africa (CSA). Mumbai is one of the three venues of the eight-nation tournament, which was scheduled to kick-off Dec 3.

“We held consultations among all the stakeholders including the founding members, the participating teams and members of the Governing Council after the unfortunate terrorist attacks in Mumbai on Wednesday night. It was agreed that in the best interests of all concerned, the inaugural edition of the Champions League 2020 should be postponed,” said Lalit Modi, Chairman of the Champions League 2020.

“We very strongly condemn this dastardly and heinous criminal act of a few which has resulted in the loss of precious lives and injury to hundreds. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and we are with them in their hour of grief,” he added.

The officials from various countries associated with the league were billeted in the two hotels seized by the terrorists, Taj Mahal Palace and Oberoi Trident, and they were a witness to the late night drama.

The traumatised officials this morning gave graphic description of the night-long happenings at an emergency meeting of the organising committee. Thereafter it was decided to postpone the event.

The meeting also took into account the cyclonic conditions affecting the other two venues of the Champions League, Chennai and Bangalore. It has been raining for almost a week in the southern parts of the country.

Teams from England, Australia, South Africa and Pakistan were expected to arrive by this weekend to take part in the tournament.

Earlier in the day, the visiting England cricket team decided not to go ahead with the remaining two games of the seven-match Hero Honda limited-overs series and fly back home.

It is not clear whether the team would return next month to play the two Tests to be played in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

An Indian cricket board official said no decision has been taken on the Tests. Asked whether there was a possibility of shifting the two Test from Mumbai, he said the issue would come up for discussion only after hearing from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

At least 101 people, including a foreign tourist and four top police officers, were killed and over 250 were injured in multiple terror attacks in Mumbai.

The most audacious terror attack in Mumbai began Wednesday night, when militants attacked high profile landmarks, including the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Oberoi Trident Hotel, Metro Theatre and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) railway station.

A hostage crisis continued Thursday with tourists and other guests being held by terrorists in the two five-star hotels.

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