England-India Test to go ahead, but riots worry players (Lead)

August 9th, 2011 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Birmingham, Aug 9 (IANS) The third Test between England and India will be played Wednesday at Edgbaston despite concerns among players about the riots in Birmingham.

Both cricket teams were holed up at Hyatt Regency Tuesday as riots spread all around the city. Security officers of both teams have asked the players not to venture out of the hotel.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the team is following the instructions of the security officials.

“Concerned authorirties are looking into it. We went out for shopping on Monday and when we came back and wanted to go out again for dinner, we were asked to stay indoors. We have been following the instructions,” said Dhoni Tuesday.

Indian team manager Anirudh Choudhry said the players are concerned about the riots.

“We were told by the board to remain where we were last night with instructions to restrict our movement. The team management is keeping a close watch on the situation,” said Choudhury.

England fast bowler Stuart Broad wrote on Twitter: “I am in Birmingham and there are riot police around! But the rain has started hopefully that will put them off.”

“Police vans all around Birmingham where we are right now… these riots are spreading,” he added.

“Right, time for zzzz’s… Stay safe my fella Londoners & those here in Birmingham,” said Kevin Pietersen. “They have just locked our hotel in Birmingham. Riots just started here. Insane!”

England’s front-line spinner Graeme Swann said: “Good luck to those surrounded by the carnage. Be safe.”

Fast bowler Tim Bresnan, England’s hero in Trent Bridge Test, even witnessed rioters looting stores in Birmingham.

“Just seen the rioters in Birmingham fleeing down the main street followed by a load of police in the full get up. What’s going on,” Bresnan said.

India’s middle-order batsman Suresh Raina tweeted: “Good nite, every thing safe here, miss you mom, can’t wait to see u.”

The riots also prompted Football Association (FA) to call off Wednesday’s international friendly between England and Holland at the Wembley.

London football clubs, including West Ham and Charlton, were ordered by police to postpone Monday’s home Premiership matches as there were no spare officers to police and the situation grew tense as riots spread to Birmingham and Liverpool.

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