London: The touring South African cricket team were Wednesday forced to lock themselves up in their hotel rooms after an anthrax scare in the nearby shopping centre led to cordoning off of the area.
Graeme Smith and his men, currently playing a five-Test series against England, were preparing to leave for a charity match when a suspicious looking white powder was spotted in the commercial mall adjoining their Buckinghamshire hotel here.
The players had to stay put in their rooms as the security personnel laid seige to the entire area.
The scare however turned out to be hoax.
“The entire area was cordoned off and there were police and sirens all over,” Omar Henry, the convenor of South Africa’s national panel of selectors, was quoted as saying.
“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 late in leaving for their match before being eventually given permission to leave the hotel through a side door.
The touring side drew the first Test but won at Lord’s by an innings and 92 runs last week.
The third Test begins on August 14 at Trent Bridge.