Crowd gathers to welcome Team India in Birmingham

The third Test between India and England is scheduled to be held at Edgbaston in Birmingham Getty Images

By Prasun Sonwalkar

London: Aug 8, 2011

The West Midlands police in Birmingham were relieved that the crowd gathered in the city centre had nothing to do with the riots in London, but were there to greet the Indian cricket team who appeared on a public balcony.

There were unsubstantiated rumours since on Monday morning that groups similar to those in London had spread messages about disorder taking place in Birmingham around 6 pm through Twitter, Facebook and Blackberry Messenger.

The West Midlands police said they were aware of the rumours and had stepped up security in the town.

Youths from Birmingham areas such as Erdington, Nechells and Aston were planning to congregate at a leisure complex this evening, reports from Birmingham said.

Parts of Birmingham had seen similar rioting in 2005.

The West Midlands Police released a statement on Twitter: “We are aware of unsubstantiated messages on Twitter, Facebook and BBM about disorder at 6pm in Birmingham this evening.

We have not seen any incidents, but we will have extra officers on patrol in the centre and suburbs this evening”.

However, a police spokesman later said that the rumoured disturbance did not happen at 6 pm, instead, the police had received calls about a large crowd gathering in the city centre, accompanied by a sizeable police presence.

But the gathering was for a public balcony appearance by the Indian cricket team currently touring England.

The third cricket Test is scheduled to be held at Edgbaston, Birmingham, from August 10.