August 7, 2003

South Africa caught in anthrax scare

Wisden CricInfo staff

South Africa's cricketers were caught in the midst of an alleged terrorist attack on Wednesday, as their hotel in London had to be evacuated.

The team had been relaxing at the Buckinghamshire Hotel in London, ahead of a low-key charity match, when a suspicious white powder - thought to be anthrax - was discovered in the adjoining shopping centre.

"The entire area was cordoned off and there were police and sirens all over," said Omar Henry, the convenor of the national panel of selectors. "Within minutes, the fire brigade was on the scene and people were running in every direction. I locked myself in my room and did not want to move around in the hotel."

The players were told to stay in their rooms, and they were late in leaving for their match. After police had searched the area for quite some time, the players were eventually given permission to leave the hotel through a side door.