Cricket in South Asia: critically injured?
This is not the first time cricket or cricketers were targeted in the subcontinent, especially Pakistan.
India’s 1982-83 tour of Pakistan was disrupted after rioting marred the last Test in Karachi. Who can forget the sight of scared cricketers scampering to the pavilion as an angry mob invaded the pitch at the National Stadium.
In May 2002, a car bomb exploded in Karachi in front of the hotel where the New Zealand team was staying, killing 13 people, including 11 French navy experts. New Zealand called off the tour within hours of the attack.
As ironic as it may sound, New Zealand cricket has had quite a few close calls in the subcontinent.
Despite the threat to players’ security, something which has led to postponement or cancellations of many tours, the subcontinent has always presented a united front which many will say was instrumental in the centre of gravity of world cricket shifting from England to South Asia.
There was always the fear of violence, the threat was clear and present, but what unfolded outside the Gaddafi Stadium at Lahore took the fear and threat to a new realm. Is cricket in the continent critically injured?
Spare a thought for the Lankan cricketers. They are trained to face the best of bowling, not bullets and grenades.
They say cricket is played between your ears. Thilan Samaraweera scored his second double hundred in a row in the second test against Pakistan on Monday.
Will things still be the same for a Samaraweera or a Kumar Sangakkara as they take guard?
Sri Lanka stepped in as a replacement after India cancelled its own tour of Pakistan in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks last November. Will they be as bold and supportive in future?
Can cricket recover from this body blow?