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......."