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Rediff.com  » Sports » I could've been at one of the terror-hit hotels: Vaughan

I could've been at one of the terror-hit hotels: Vaughan

November 28, 2008 12:42 IST

Shaken by the terrorist attack in Mumbai, former England captain Michael Vaughan thanked his lucky stars as he revealed that but for a last-minute change of practice venue he could have been at one of the hotels that were targeted.

"This week I was due to be in Mumbai with the rest of England's high performance squad. It was only at the last minute that our training camp was switched to Bangalore. I don't know why it was switched but we could have been there in one of those hotels when they were attacked," Vaughan told 'The Daily Telegraph'.

Vaughan said he got several messages from friends and family here who thought that he was in Mumbai.

"In the morning I woke up to a number of texts from people back home who thought I was in Mumbai, and I wanted to go home and get back to my two kids," he said.

The former skipper said just watching the images of the terror attack that left over 100 dead, on television disturbed him immensely.

"All our white Test kit is in one of the rooms at the Taj Mahal where one of the sieges has been going on... all our pads and clothes for the Test series, and our blazers and caps and ties. All the stuff was deposited there after England's two practice games in Mumbai at the start of this tour. That's how close the danger is," he said.

Vaughan said he could feel the tension even in Bangalore where security officials asked him and his teammates not to venture out on foot and avoid going to places frequented by foreigners.

"The phone rang in (coach) David Parsons' room and it was our liaison man Sachin ringing to say 'Mumbai has been bombed.' We stuck the TV on, and saw the Taj where I've spent so many nights and the Oberoi where I've spent so many evenings," Vaughan recalled.

"I didn't think we were under threat in Bangalore, and history to date says cricketers are safe. But our security man said we couldn't go in our England kit to the hotel where we eat 60 yards across the road from the stadium, and we'd have to go in cars, we couldn't walk. We were told we couldn't go to any of the hotels in Bangalore that westerners use," he added.

Meanwhile, skipper of county side Middlesex, which was due to be in Mumbai for the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League, Shaun Udal said the images of attacks gave him goose-bumps.

"I watched it on television and I got goose-bumps all down my back because we were 24 hours away from being in that hotel and the fact they were looking for British people makes it more frightening. There would have been 20 of us sitting around having dinner in the hotel. It doesn't bear thinking about," he said.

"I've never had 24 hours like this in my life. It is awful. The most important thing is the humanitarian side of things, not the cricket. We are obviously disappointed not to be playing in a brilliant tournament but that is secondary at times like this," he added.

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