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Strike spoils Beef stew

Calcutta, Nov. 16: Next Monday's bandh by the Naxalites has forced Ian Botham and Allan Lamb to strike the city off their India itinerary.

The sponsors-driven Botham & Lamb Chat Show, therefore, will only be staged in New Delhi (November 23), Bangalore (November 24) and Mumbai (November 25).

'It's unfortunate, but we had no choice' We couldn't risk holding a high-profile event on a bandh day,' said Lokesh Sharma, managing director of the event organisers, 21st Century Media.

Speaking to The Telegraph from New Delhi this afternoon, he added: 'Rescheduling isn't possible as Botham and Lamb have to be in the capital on November 21 for a Legends golf tournament.

'Then, Botham must reach Cape Town on November 26 for a charity event organised by Nelson Mandela. In fact, he flies off to South Africa immediately after the Mumbai show.'

The duo's 1995 visit to India, by the way, had also been organised by Sharma. Elsewhere, the show is marketed differently: Beef & Lamb In a Stew.

The one-time England teammates haven't severed links with cricket ' icon Botham (in picture ) is a top-notch commentator; gutsy Lamb runs a sports hospitality business which caters to cricket, too.

The show is actually going to be over a sit-down dinner (for 250 and 300 special invitees) with ad man Suhel Seth as the MC.

'It's because we don't want the interaction to be limited to cricket that we've asked Seth to come on board for the three evenings,' Sharma explained.

Botham, of course, will be a top attraction at the golf meet as well. Kapil Dev, too, is going to be around, as also Wasim Akram and Milkha Singh.

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