March 03, 2009

Cricket Under Seige in Cricket-Loving Pakistan?

Pakistan is no longer safe ground for cricket and it definitely isn't the "Mecca of Cricket" as it once used to be called! Indeed, it is a very sad day both for Cricket and for Pakistan which prides itself for being a cricket-loving nation. A nation that has produced amazing cricketing talent like Imran Khan, Miandad, and Shoaib Akhtar, and is to co host the next Cricket World Cup in 2011. Now the fate of Pakistani Cricket stands on very shaky ground after what happened yesterday.

The visiting Sri Lankan Cricket Team became a terrorist target in the city of Lahore when some eight or more armed terrorist opened fire on the bus carrying the Sri Lankan Team to the Gaddafi Stadium in the very heart of the city at about 9 AM yesterday. The attack left eight people dead and two Sri Lankan players injured. The Sri Lankan Goverment sent a special flight to bring its team home within a few hours of the incident. The terrorist are at large while the police network is doing all it can to gather intelligence on the incident and there is a major man hunt to apprehend the terrorist who walked away into the crowds quite like the terrorists in the Mumbai blasts did.

Of the two Sri Lankan players who are injured, one of them apparently may not be able to play the game again because of the nature of his injuries. Shameful as it is, yet the predominant emotion I feel is one of sheer disbelief at what happened; it is appalling that even Cricket is not spared in the onslaught of extremism.

Why am I reminded of this speech of Antony at Caesar's funeral:

"If you have tears, prepare to shed them now......."


A_N_Nanda said...

This is dastardly and no amount of verbal denouncement would be enough. In the greater interest of the South Asia the perpetrators should be brought to book.


starry nights said...

Made me really sad.

Eshuneutics said...

I share your disbelief. Like you, I am well aware of terrorism. I have no disbelief in that. I was stunned by the sheer casualness of the attack and the ease with which it was carried out.

sivananth said...

If cricket were still a gentleman's game, Sri Lankans are the ambassadors of the dying breed both on and off the field. I was struck by how well they carried themselves after the event that no doubt left them shaken.

Saadia said...

What happened in my city was shocking; it happened in the very hub of vibrant Lahore. With shocking silence. With shocking ease.

Today, there is silence no more; there is slumber no more. And for good reasons, for a change. A change so yearned.

Technically, I think the Lord's Cricket Ground is called the 'Mecca of Cricket'; but yes, one has to be at the Gaddafi to really take in its aura. I've seen so many watches at the stadium: one of the most memorable was the Australia vs. Sri Lanka (yes!), 1996 World Cup finals, which our Asian guests went on to win.