Bhubaneswar:With the England team seeking extension of its stay in the city for another 24 hours in the wake of the terror attack in Mumbai, the team hotel here has virtually turned into a fortress with a thick ring of security cordon surrounding it.
Both the teams, lodged in 58 rooms in the posh 'Mayfair Lagoon', cancelled their visit to Guwahati for the sixth ODI as the ECB asked the BCCI to cancel the one-day series. The city police have beefed up security in and around the hotel. Jawans of the elite special operation group (SOG) have been deployed besides general police force in security of the English players.
Indian players including Sachin Tendulkar and captain MS Dhoni have left the city amidst tight security, official sources said.
The Indian players left the hotel in three batches while England cricketers remained inside the hotel holding marathon discussions on the next course of action.
While Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Pathan brothers, Rohit Sharma and Munaff Patel left for Mumbai, Gambhir and Shewag left for Delhi.
Dhoni, Ishant Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina left later in the evening.
"We are yet to decide where to go from here. The British government will take the decision," one of the England players said, adding that last night's incident in Mumbai had sparked tension in the team.
Though England players were keen on playing international matches, they were "desperate" and "disturbed" over the Mumbai incident though ECB Managing Director Hugh Morris appreciated the security measures in Orissa.
Besides upgrading the temporary police outpost in front of the hotel, the Orissa police had asked the SOG personnel to remain alert round the clock.
The police have asked the England players not to go outside the hotel without security.
"Two foreign mediapersons who wanted to go for marketing were given personal security officers," an officer at the temporary police outpost said.
"We have taken adequate security for safety of the visiting England team," Commissioner of Police B K Sharma said.
He said that the security arrangements had also been made in other places in the state capital including hotels providing lodging for foreign nationals, airport, railway station and other sensitive places.
This apart, the state police had also augmented patrolling in the entire coastal districts, sources said.