Sport on sub-continent threatened after attack on Sri Lanka cricketers

March 3, 2009

Scenes of bloodshed on the streets of Lahore after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus instantly ended any hopes Pakistan might have held of coaxing the cricketing world back to its grounds.

Repercussions from Tuesday’s incident that left six players wounded and five policemen dead may also be felt through the entire region for years to come (read our main report here and click here for reaction).

Security arrangements for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be hosted in neighbouring India, are certain to be re-examined and beefed up, while there will be renewed concerns about the merits of staging part of the 2011 Cricket World Cup in Pakistan.

Almost all of the world’s top cricket nations have already refused to tour Pakistan because of fears about the safety of their players.

Australia have not toured Pakistan since 1998 and were joined by England, New Zealand and South Africa in boycotting last year’s Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

The International Cricket Council agreed to move the tournament to Sri Lanka, but are already having second thoughts because it is during the monsoon season.

India were supposed to be touring Pakistan now but pulled out in the wake of recent militant attacks in Mumbai. Only Sri Lanka agreed to take their place.

India and Sri Lanka, co-hosts for the 2011 World Cup, have not been immune to attacks on their soil but Tuesday’s incident will surely heighten concerns about staging any events in the region.

Australia and West Indies both refused to play matches in Sri Lanka during the 1996 World Cup after bombings in Colombo while New Zealand cut short tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka foe similar reasons.

England suspended their tour of India last year after the attacks on Mumbai, which killed about 170 people, but agreed to return on the promise of tightened security.

Cricket is the most popular sport on the sub-continent but the effects are already being felt in other sports.

Hockey’s Champions Trophy has already been moved away from Pakistan and tennis officials ordered increased security at this year’s Chennai Open and the future of sport in the region now faces a bleak reassessment.


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I’ve already seen people saying this tragedy could mark the end of top level cricket in Pakistan for a long time to come. Former captain Waqar Younis has said he expects the World Cup to be taken away from the sub-continent as a whole.

Posted by Kev Fylan | Report as abusive

Journalists should becareful when using subcontinent or south asia when they refer to pakistan. pakistan is not subcontinent or south asia. there are bigger and peaceful nations in the subcontinent/south asia. when you refer to pakistan please use the name pakistan. sport is not under jeopardy in either subcontinent or south asia. it is only in pakistan.

Kev Fylan, i dont think world cup would be taken away from india for 2011 speaking under the current situation. but indian government cannot be lax as it was during 26/11.

it is frustrating to see when something like this happens in pakistan, pakistanis are trying to associate this with tragedy in india like it happened in mumbai. the one that happened in mumbai was a siege. this wasn’t. plus LeT did mumbai carnage but this should be taleban’s. taleban has been gaining ground at rapid pace in pakistan.

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive

No matter how Upset Indians, Srilankans and Bangladeshis will be, if ICC world cup is taken away from them, but ICC has got a perfect logic and reason for it.

Pakistan is so determined to support terrorism that now terrorists can attack anyone anywhere in this subcontinent. This is a bitter truth that we cannot provide security to every square inch of India or other countries of subcontinent.

We can put thick security blankets around players but what about the massive gathering of people in these matches. People come in batches of 10-15 to watch a cricket match. Pakistani fiyadeens can target these soft target effectively.groups very easily. What if terrorist launch some rocket launchers to people watching match from a nearby building ?

World is getting sick of pakistan

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive

This audacious attack shows that Islamabad has to act soon to dismantle this grave terror infrastucture which is a great threat to the whole world.If Pakistan Govrnment want they can as easily destroy the whole infrasturcture that is ruining there own country.As Sri Lanka destroyed the whole LLTE based this time same plan can be implemented by Pakistan to destroy the terror outfit in their country. But after this attack the whole world should take action to stop them, by this henious attack to play cricket in the sub-continent will make all the big nation into dilemma even after this attack India might losse 2011 World cup from there hand.

Posted by Devkant Rath | Report as abusive

Attack on cricketers was bound to happen sometime or the other. The attackers bare a lot of resemblance to the ones who attacked Mumbai. May be they belong to the same group of people who trained together.

Indian cricket is not safe either. Pakistani establishment will make sure India does not go ahead with gala sporting events while its cricketing future has been shut down. Already they have started accusing India for this attack.

India should prepare itself for counter offensives and hold most of the games away from the troubled regions in North India.

Pakistan has already lost its cricket future. It will now try to bankrupt Indian cricket by staging terror strikes on international cricketers who visit India. And the Indian cricket board, being the wealthiest one will come down. The economic situation in the world is already affecting the IPL. Mumbai attacks have made the international cricketers nervous already.

In all, cricket in the sub-continent (mainly in India and Pakistan) are doomed due to mutual hatred and terrorism that fuels it.

Posted by Mauryan | Report as abusive

In a way this is a good thing to happen..Cricket has been the reason for wasting hella lot of energy, time of millions of people for nothing..I still remember how silly it was when Sachin tendulkar was not selected for some series and people went on protests in streets.
Protests that took when Ganguly was removed from captancy. This is the most stupid game britts played and is the most lazy game compared to any other sport. Atleast once for the first time terrorists did the right thing by defaming this game.

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive

Come on Anitha, is this you? Cricket is a lovely and exciting game. Nothing is more thrilling than an Indo-Pak cricket match. What is the alternative, should everyone leave cricket and pick up sticks or guns?

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

@Cricket is a lovely and exciting game. Nothing is more thrilling than an Indo-Pak cricket match. What is the alternative, should everyone leave cricket and pick up sticks or guns?
– Posted by Umair

@In a way this is a good thing to happen.Cricket has been the reason for wasting hella lot of energy.
– Posted by Anitha

I agree with Umair. Plus, terrorists are not worried whether it is cricket, they will do the same for hockey, football…
At least, there is something Umair and I agree.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev and Umair..You have to agree Cricket is the laziest game than any other outdoor sport..I dont really understand why that excites you guys..but this game serves nothing good nor does it have any use..The total man hours wasted in watching this game through out the country and then time wasted in chatting after the game si a total waste..doesn’t it frustrate you when somebody in a govt office is not working because of a cricket match ?? Doctors not in hospital, lawyers not in court, employees and students mass bunk for a silly reason like a cricket match !!
BTW i know what you may reply..but i dont see any difference between people who spend their time on porn and people who spend their time watching cricket..and there is no difference between porn stars and a matching fixing cricket star..

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive


A game is a game, humans need games because humans are not machines, we have emotions too, next thing you will say humans should not sleep coz it wastes man hours.

Comparing cricket with porn is a bit harsh, I know porn also gives excitement but its a different kind of excitement, which ofcourse does not last very long 😉

A one day international can give excitement for 8 hrs and T20 can last 4 hrs of intense feel good.

I am sorry if I offended you, I never meant it.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive

@Rajeev and Umair..You have to agree Cricket is the laziest game than any other outdoor sport..I dont really understand why that excites you guys..but this game serves nothing good nor does it have any use..
–Posted by Anitha

Anitha: There is much lazier outdoor game than cricket–GOLF. Do you like golf? I am not a big fan but I can understand my friends who play it and give me some reasons and I think I will have to try and find out.

I gather you dislike baseball too–pretty similar to cricket.

Forget about laziness in 1day and T20 games. Gone are the potbellied players or the lazy bums who cannot run faster than the speeding ball and cannot dive horizontal in the air. It is hard for you to appreciate the beauty of sound of willow when the batmsan strikes the ball with power and it flies for six and commentator declares it is six, but only to his astonishment the ball being plucked out of air by Azharuddin–That is not the work of a lazy player. This incident is real.

Would you accept if people waste their office time for soccer, not a lazy game–but it happens, may not be in India. It is people, not the game. It is like Bush providing a solution to forest fire in California: “Cut all the trees”. That’s a fair comparison with what you are saying.

I don’t know what you would say.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Who would be gaining out of this incident……. I think Pakistan should start complete wipe-out program for RA&W elements in Pakistan, Now after its failure to defame Pakistan, even after killing its own people in the name of 26/11 mumbai incident, india has started to show its crule intentions towards a peace-loving country, india is lossing against Pakistan in every aspect and God is helping Pakistan (see Wagha incidents, when indian soldier got terrified byu Pakistani soldier, Nature has beaten india against Pakistan) Now india is using cheap tricks like attacking the Cricket Players, ruining the paradise on earth by funding SWAT militants, and many more. india should not forget that the world is watching. india is famous for mass murders of muslims, who do not know the story of Babu Bajrangi, who himslef raped, killed, burnt alive, tear-apart more than 100 muslims with the support of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and indian govt. is doing nothing on this case (see india’s owned website filename=Ne031107NarodaPatyaMassacre.asp   )

Posted by Peace | Report as abusive

Peace, Linden

quote -peace writes Who would be gaining out of this incident….-unquote

Last night I was watching this movie “A Mighty Heart (2007), ” Angelina Jolie’s film about the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, which happened in Pak in 2003. In all its gripping and sobering storyline, I suddenly burst into convulsive laughter when the Pak information minister proudly declares to national and international media that, ‘we have credible information that the Indian Intelligence agencies are behind this kidnap to embarrass and malign pak’. Later, Al Qaeda, surfaces and starts making demands for release of their hastage.

Dismissal of Shariff brothers from office,swat drone attackes and Malaria out break in Karachi will also be blamed on Indian agencies, im sure. But the said covert agencies are not able to eliminate fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, how strange.This is the typical perennial mindset from very top to bottom in civil and military establishments in Pak. The people like peace will continue to live their life in denial.

Posted by azadDP | Report as abusive

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