By Ross Stapleton

While Australia was busy
being thrashed by England in the first of
the three-match NatWest Challenge series in Leeds overnight, cricket bosses were
holding emergency security talks ahead of Sunday’s scheduled game at
Lords.

While English officials resolved not to cancel the match and bow to terrorism, maintaining an appearance
of normality is impossible with security now certain to be stepped up for such a
high profile sporting event.

London’s Daily Telegraph
reports that the Australian team was waiting on board their tour bus
following the match as Cricket Australia officials, “sought further
assurances about the security situation in London. But their concerns
were finally allayed, and they set off on the long drive to their hotel
near Hyde Park.” Now officials from both teams
will meet in London tonight to discuss what additional actions will be taken
for the remaining two games in London.

Sunday’s game will now become a major opportunity for players
from both countries to honour victims from the London blasts with a special
pre-game dedication and traditional wearing of black armbands.

Australia’s worst ever one-day
loss to England was very small beer when set against the events taking place in
London, but for the record Australia was sent in on a seaming wicket and after a
late surge from Mike Hussey (46 not out), posted
a respectable 7-219 in difficult conditions. But England made nonsense of both
the pitch and our attack with a nine-wicket victory, including a defiant 104 not out from
opener Martin Trescothick.

Peter Fray

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