The Reuters global sports blog
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
"Everything is officially going to hell." The verdict of a reader quoted by All Things Pakistan said perhaps better than anyone else why the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore marked a defining moment in Pakistan's agonising descent into chaos.
Six Sri Lankan cricketers and their British assistant coach were wounded when gunmen attacked their bus as it drove under police escort to the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore. Five policemen were killed.
The death toll was small by South Asian standards. But what defined it -- beyond the audacity and apparent sophistication of the attack -- was the assault on the identity of a country where cricket, as in neighbouring India, is a national obsession.
"An ambush targeting the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore earlier this morning has literally sent waves of disbelief and shock across Pakistan," said a post on Metroblogging Lahore. "Citizens of Lahore are specifically terrified at the extent of sophisticated weaponry used by terrorists in an incident that caused unprecedented damage to the country's image and its cricketing future."
After the farcical scenes on Friday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, where play in the West Indies v England test was abandoned after just ten balls, the authorities pulled out the stops to get the Antigua Recreation Ground fit for a hastily re-arranged test on Sunday.
While embarrassed that the unloved ‘ Sir Viv’ stadium was unable to put on a game, most locals were delighted at the chance to see international cricket back at the traditional home of Antiguan cricket.
Just when West Indies looked back on the up after the drubbing of England in the first test, cricket in the region has suffered another blow to its credibility.
The first day’s play in the second test match at Antigua was abandoned on Friday because of an ‘unfit and dangerous’ pitch, match referee Alan Hurst said.
Too many false dawns over the Caribbean in recent years have induced increasing pessimism among those who follow and cherish West Indies’ cricket.
Isolated flashes of brilliance, such as the record run chase to beat Australia in 2003, have been more than outweighed by a succession of heavy and, sometimes, humiliating defeats.
Miami-based correspondent Simon Evans is away covering England’s cricket tour of the West Indies. Tough job.
As soon as England’s second-innings humiliation was complete at Sabina Park, Simon grabbed West indies coach John Dyson for a chat about the great strides being made by his team. You can read Simon’s piece here. Think the ball that got Pietersen in the second innings was a bit special? Well, you’re in good company.