India vs Pakistan: Indian team hotel in Birmingham cordoned off after London terror attacks

first_imgThe security in Birmingham has been tightened ahead of the India vs Pakistan clash in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 following twin terror attacks that rocked London on Saturday night. India start their title defence against arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston today.Militants drove a van at high speed into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing Saturday night revellers on the street and in nearby bars, killing at least six people and wounding more than 30.Birmingham was on red alert and the team hotel where India are staying was in a complete lock-down after the attacks. No visitors and no cars were allowed into the Hyatt Regency hotel in Birmingham.India Today’s Consulting Editor, Sports, Boria Majumdar was not allowed to go beyond the hotel confines.”Just went for a walk. Wasn’t allowed to go beyond the hotel confines to be truthful but appears a ghost town. Not one fan or supporter here or is allowed to come. No flag nothing. There were still some people here (at 4 am BST). Now it’s just empty and deserted,” Boria said.WATCH FULL VIDEOMillions of supporters are expected to tune in and watch the teams fight for national pride at Edgbaston on Sunday. (India powerful team but can’t take things for granted: Ganguly)Due to diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan, the two teams rarely lock horns against each other barring an International Cricket Council (ICC) event, and the hotly fought battle has over the years drawn a wide range of audience. (Kohli not taking Pakistan lightly)advertisementFor almost 18 years, wars stood in between the two outfits playing each other in a bilateral series until the ice was broken in 1978, but even today matches are few and far between. (No Junaid Khan in Pakistan playing XI)The two sides have not played a bilateral series since 2012-2013, and India have refused to juggle with the idea without an end to “cross border terrorism”, which essentially means militant incursions along the disputed Kashmir border.Not only will a victory for either side mean taking a huge step towards the semi-finals in a four-team group which also has Sri Lanka and South Africa, it will also be a diplomatic point-scoring in terms of the stand-off between the two parties.On the pitch, India would go into the tie as favourites, as former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has also said — not only because of their emphatic 45 and 240 -run wins in the two warm-up games, but because the opposition doesn’t smell the same anymore.(With inputs from agencies)last_img

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