Tight security in Birmingham but business as usual in Edgbaston

August 10th, 2011 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Birmingham, Aug 10 (IANS) Despite widespread riots in the city of Birmingham, it will be business as usual at Edgbaston where England take on India in the third cricket Test match later Wednesday.

Some 25,000 spectators are expected to be at the Warwickshire County Club on the first day of the match.

Security has been stepped up around Birmingham following four days of rioting in parts of England but handling of the crowd in the ground will be the responsibility of 300 stewards on duty. A club spokesman said “adequate policing” would be provided.

“We take safety and security of touring teams and fans seriously. We are working with government, local authorities and the BCCI on an ongoing basis and will follow expert advice ahead of the third Test. We do not comment specifically on any security plans,” an England cricket board official was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

Both the teams were asked not to step out from their hotel, Hyatt Regency, in the city centre. Police said that around 800 people took part in looting on Monday evening in Birmingham and 138 were arrested Tuesday, with the main centre for trouble close to the hotels housing the two teams.

The two cricket boards decided to go ahead with the Test match after having several rounds of meetings with local police.

The daily reported that financial implications of cancelling the match would be far-reaching for both the county and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Last month the club opened their 32 million pound stand which has left it with a one million pound repayment bill per year to the Birmingham City Council.

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