Update: The hotel of the Indian cricket team in Birmingham has been placed under lockdown in view of last night’s terror attacks in London. The traffic near the hotel where cricketers are staying has also been diverted from the area for a while. India and Pakistan are expected to clash this afternoon at Edgbaston during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
London: In the aftermath of a terrorist incident in Central London Saturday night, where six people were killed and three attackers shot dead by police, security has been beefed up for the Champions Trophy match featuring India and Pakistan on Sunday. Speculations are rife that the United Kingdon intelligence have been alerted about a a possible attack during the match in Edgbaston, despite the venue being a good 208 km away from the sight of incident.
Cricket boards of both countries – BCCI and PCB have been duly informed and asked to remain panic free by the UK intelligence. This is the second time in less that two weeks that London has been a victim due to a terrorist act following the suicide bombing during a concert in Manchester on May 22 where 23 people lost their lives. A source close to the BCCI assured that there was nothing to worry as the secuity for the match has been covered from all bases.
“Several BCCI and PCB officials were told last night about a potential terrorist attack in Edgbaston,” the source said. “There is nothing to worry about but since the intelligence units don’t want to take any risk after the Manchester attack last month, they have told the officials from both teams to not talk to the media about it because it may create panic. They don’t want to take any risk, however.”
The ICC then sent out a statement that further assured that there was nothing to worry as all possible measures have been taken to ensure top-notch security. “We will continue to work with authorities over the coming hours and days and review our security in line with the threat levels,” the ICC statement said. “The security situation has been very much front and centre of our preparations and we constantly review our procedures to guarantee they are as effective as possible to keep everyone safe.”
A couple of members from the Pakistan team management condemned these terrorist activities. “It is very tragic what happened in Manchester. Our minds and hearts go out to the families of the victims,” said Talat Ali, team manager of Pakistan.
“It’s not just a game of cricket, it’s a lot more than that,” said Asif Iqbal, former skipper of Pakistan, before the high voltage match. Let’s hope at the end of the day, it is the performances on the field that is being talked about after the match.