As the events unfolded in Mumbai, the cricket establishment in England was busy ensuring that their teams currently in India (the one-day team and the High Performance Squad) were safe. Middlesex, who were supposed to leave for Mumbai on Thursday evening to play the Champions League, had been instructed to stay put in India even before the Champions League was postponed.
Some of the players were stunned and shocked at the events that unfolded in Mumbai. Speaking to HT, one Middlesex player said on condition of anonymity, "It is absolutely unfortunate to see and know what's happening there. I would not want to be anywhere close to Mumbai in the near future."
Shaun Udal, the Middlesex captain, was quoted as saying on Thursday, "I know the hotel well, England were based there. It could have been us if we had gone 24 hours earlier. We would have been right in the thick of it. Awful, awful stuff that has been going on. There was talk of switching venues but I think the correct decision has been made."
The ECB was working overtime to ensure its players’ safety in India. We tried contacting some of our sources within the board and from time to time, they'd say, "We are in touch with the right authorities and are monitoring the situation
The performance team is expected to fly back home sooner than it was expected to. It was supposed to fly into Mumbai for a practice game, but its tour has been cancelled.
In some quarters, England's withdrawal from the tour in the wake of terrorist attacks is surprising, considering that when the 7/7 Tube Blasts happened in 2005, the Australians stayed back to play the Ashes. Having said that though, the scope of these attacks is, in many ways, unprecedented.