Several people have written to ask that I talk about what happened in Pakistan yesterday. I’m not sure what to say.
For those who don’t know the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The team members sustained some minor injuries, the fourth umpire, Ahsan Raza, who travelled with the team is in hospital with critical injuries, eight people were killed: six policeman and two civilians. The Sri Lankan team has returned home. The test has been cancelled and many people are saying this is the end of international cricket in Pakistan.
I hope not. But several international teams, including India and Australia, had already cancelled tours to Pakistan. Australia will shortly be playing Pakistan in an ODI, safely hosted by another country. I suspect that’s the way it will go for some time.
Because obviously this is not just about cricket. There is a great deal of anger and sadness being expressed by the Pakistan cricketing community and by Pakistanis in general. I can only imagine how they must feel.
Update: Here is Kumar Sangakkara’s eyewitness account of what happened. For those of you who don’t know Sangakkara is one of the world’s best batsmen. Watching him bat is one of the world’s great joys.
this incident could not have come at a worse time for Pakistan, as they are already struggling with their international image
I feel terrible on behalf of ordinary Pakistanis who played no part in this. And it’s awful to see sportspeople being targeted once again in this way.
I wondered what you thought about it, but I figured that, like me, it was hard to know what to say.
I’m disgusted that anyone thought this – or any terrorist act – was an acceptable way to advance their cause.
I’m glad that the international cricket community seems to be supporting the Pakistani team and their right to play the sport, even if it means playing “home” matches in Dubai and England.
Mainly, though, I’m glad the rocket missed, the grenade didn’t explode and that the bus driver showed such amazing courage. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be reading the eyewitness accounts of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. We’d be reading their obituaries.
Mainly, though, I’m glad the rocket missed, the grenade didn’t explode and that the bus driver showed such amazing courage.
A big amen to this. That bus driver is a hero.