Birmingham, Aug 9: Despite the spiralling riots in London and neighbouring areas, the third cricket Test between India and England will go ahead, officials said here today.
All important sporting events in London and around, including a football friendly between England and Holland, have been postponed but officials at Edgbaston where the third Test starts tomorrow said the match will go ahead as scheduled.
A press release by the Warkwickshire County Cricket Club said that the third Npower Test match between England and India will proceed as planned and play will begin at 11 am tomorrow as scheduled.
Steve Elworthy, head of communications for the England and Wales Cricket Board, said “it is business as usual and we are preparing to be ready to go tomorrow”. “We are communicating with police but the usual protocols are in place”, he said.
Indian and English cricketers have been asked to confine themselves to their hotel rooms ahead of the third Test after trouble spread to newer areas in London and nearby places. A West Midlands police spokesman was quoted as saying by ‘Daily Mail' that at this stage there is no reason to suggest the Test will not go ahead.
Over 200 people have been arrested so far as the police continued to grapple with the violence started after a person was killed allegedly in police firing. The unrest has since spread to Birmingham as well and the Indian and English cricketers have been asked to stay indoors to avoid trouble.
Indian team manager Anirudh Choudhry said that the players are watching with concern the developments following the riots.
“We were told by the Board to remain where we were last night with instructions to restrict our movement,” he said. In an email, he later said, “all the members of the Indian touring squad are safe and accounted for...the team management is keeping a close watch on the situation.” The Indian team is staying in a central city hotel as is the England team, a part of the town which was the centre of riots.
According to BBC, helicopters were circling over Bull Ring, about half mile from England hotel and England players were all safe. It said England are scheduled to practise at Edgbaston later today. PTI