Terror strikes leave cricket’s superpower bleeding (Round-up)

November 27th, 2008 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai/Bhubaneshwar, Nov 27 (IANS) Terror strikes in the commercial capital of India have left cricket’s superpower bleeding as England have abandoned their one-day series, called off the remaining two games, and the showbiz Champions League T20 has been postponed, raising a huge question mark over international sports events in the subcontinent.The England team were also to play two Tests immediately after the one-day series, and a decision on it is expected in the next 24 hours after the team management discussed the matter with Indian officials as well as the England and Wales Cricket Board.

England were scheduled to play a Test match in Mumbai and would have stayed at the Taj, the hotel the terrorists seized Wednesday night.

“We have accepted the request for cancellation of the Guwahati and Delhi one-dayers put forward by the England team management,” secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) N. Srinivasan told reporters in Bhubaneshwar after holding an hour-long meeting with the England team management.

The sixth one-day international was to be played at Guwahati (Nov 29) and the last match in Delhi (Dec 2).

The inaugural Champions League T20 event, billed as a major money-grosser for the BCCI and other founding cricketing boards of England, Australia, South Africa and Pakistan, had to be postponed.

The Governing Council of the Champions League T20 at an emergency meeting decided to call off the Dec 3-9 events scheduled to be played in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.

“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 Twenty20.

The officials and security advisers from various countries associated with the league were billeted in the two hotels seized by the terrorists, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower and the Oberoi Trident, and they were in a state of shock after going through the night-long horror.

The traumatised officials gave graphic description of the happenings at the meeting.

Champion teams from England, Australia, South Africa and Pakistan were expected to arrive by this weekend to take part in the tournament. Pakistan player Sohail Tanvir and Kamran Akmal, members of the inaugural Champions League champions Rajasthan Royals, already in the western metropolis, were shaken when they heard of the terror strikes while dining with friends.

Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne, who was in Singapore en route to Mumbai, changed his travel plans at the last minute and did not take the connecting flight from the Changi international aiport.

Warne and Darren Berry, the Royals’ coach, were booked to stay at the Taj.

“I’m shocked,” Warne was quoted as saying in Melbourne’s Herald Sun.

“Darren and I got off the plane and saw the news on TV. It’s unbelievable. The place is chaos. I don’t think we will be going (to India) now. Why would you?”

The most audacious terror attack in Mumbai began Wednesday night, when militants attacked high-profile landmarks, including the iconic Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, the Oberoi Trident Hotel, Metro Theatre and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, better known as Victoria Terminus Railway Station.

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