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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Team India was out shopping before riots broke out

Team India was out shopping before riots broke out

Last updated on: August 09, 2011 19:50 IST

Bikash Mohapatra reports from Birmingham

Minutes before miscreants got into action at the Birmingham City Centre, breaking into shops and looking property, the Indian team was in the area.

"We were out shopping at the City Centre. We were there for quite some time before we came back. We had plans to go for dinner," he informed.

However, Zak, our security officer, who was with us throughout, advised against it. There was good food in the hotel, so we didn't complain and tried to make the most of the evening," he added.

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Adhering to the instructions may have boded well for the visiting players, but India's captain wasted little time in condemning the incidents that took place on Monday night.

m S Dhoni"It is sad when things like these happen, no matter where they happen," said Dhoni, proceeding to add that there is no imminent danger of the tour being called off.

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"We are in communication with the board. The concerned authorities from both sides are having a look at the security situation," he explained.

"We are avoiding things than we can avoid and are sticking to what we can do, that is preparing for the game. Whatever happens is secondary.

"At the moment we are happy playing the game. Hopefully, we can have the game starting tomorrow and the spectators get to see some good cricket in the next five days," he added.

England had faced with a similar situation in 2008, when, following the 26/11 attacks, they returned home, only to come back and play out the series.

Had the Indian think tank, at any point, contemplated calling the tour off?

"Let's not get into controversies," said Dhoni, the tone diplomatic to the core.

"We have had a good Test series, two good matches and two more to go. So let's concentrate on the cricket and leave all the other things aside," he added.

Besides, the off-field issues that cropped up in the last couple of days, he also has a lot of on-the-field concerns.

"We have a few things to worry about. It has been a difficult tour for us if you see everything, the injuries, fitness and form," he confessed.

"However, there are no injury worries now and all the players are available for selection. So, hopefully, things will go right."

One look at the wicket, though, was enough to make the captain realize what is in store for them come Wednesday. 

"It looks a different wicket, with a tinge of grass," he declared.

"Seamers will get more help as compared to the other wickets."

"We have a few things to worry about," admitted Dhoni, "It has been a difficult tour for us if you see everything, the injuries, fitness and form.

"However, there are no injury worries now and all the players are available for selection. So hopefully things will go right."

One look at the wicket though was enough to make the captain realize what is in store for them come Wednesday.

"It looks a different wicket, with a tinge of grass," admitted Dhoni.

"Seamers will get more help as compared to the other wickets," he added.

Bikash Mohapatra