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Thread: Sri Lankan cricket team ambushed by armed gunmen

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    Taj
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    Lightbulb Sri Lankan cricket team ambushed by armed gunmen

    in Pakistan


    AS THEIR country continues to slide, many Pakistanis are starting seriously to wonder where the bottom is. On Tuesday March 3rd masked gunmen in Lahore ambushed a convoy carrying Sri Lanka’s national cricket team, wounding seven players and a British coach and killing five policemen and two others.

    The Sri Lankan cricketers had been travelling in a well-armed convoy to the city’s Gaddafi stadium, to commence the third day of a five-day game against Pakistan’s national side. The team bus was attacked by around a dozen militants armed with automatic rifles and grenades. Two of the Sri Lankans were reportedly wounded by gunfire. In a vehicle to the rear of the bus, the driver was shot dead and one of the game’s umpires was shot and wounded in the back. In a stunned first response to the calamity, a member of Sri Lanka’s cricket board announced that the game had been abandoned.

    In a society beset by Islamist violence, including some 60 suicide bomb-blasts in each of the past two years, this was less bloody than many recent attacks; but nonetheless remarkable. Sri Lanka’s decision to send its revered cricketers to Pakistan, despite fears for their security, was a brave act of south-Asian solidarity from a country with terrorism troubles of its own.

    It followed India’s decision last December to cancel its cricket team’s scheduled tour of the country, after Pakistani militants killed over 170 people in Mumbai the previous month. This came after the cancelling of tours by two other cricketing powers, Australia and the West Indies. That Pakistan has now proved unable to protect the Sri Lankans, despite extraordinary efforts by Lahore’s police in the face of a manifest threat to their lives, is, to say the least, dispiriting. It seems reasonable to suppose that many of Pakistan’s dwindling foreign visitors, of all stripes, will now stay away from the country. At a time of economic duress—partly related to the country’s worsening insecurity—this will have repercussions far beyond cricket.

    For many Pakistanis, however, the outcome for the nation's favourite game will be bad enough. It is almost unimaginable that other national sides will want to tour Pakistan any time soon. Pakistan's ambition to co-host the 2011 World Cup is surely in tatters. This is deeply depressing. Though not quite the source of public hysteria that it is in India, cricket is one of Pakistan’s few unifying forces. Moreover, at a time of national shame, over the many atrocities committed by Pakistan-reared militants at home and abroad, their cricketers' performances are an export of which Pakistanis can be genuinely proud.

    Relative to their vast Indian neighbour, for example, Pakistan’s cricketers have a history of punching above their weight. In an ever-divided country, this has long provided a welcome boost to Pakistani morale. The country’s greatest cricketer, Imran Khan, a star of the 1970s and 80s, may well be Pakistan’s most popular figure—even if he has proved unable to translate this into a successful career in politics.

    Yet in recent years Pakistani cricket has become more representative of an increasingly conservative and put-upon society. A notorious playboy in his playing days, Mr Khan has accrued a pious religiosity. So, more ostentatiously and like many Pakistanis, have the country’s modern players. In recent years, many have grown long beards, and substituted team prayer sessions for training. In 2006, Dr Nasim Ashraf, a newly-appointed head of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), called for an end to the national team’s public displays of Muslim worship. He also urged the team’s then captain, Inzamam ul-Haq, not to put pressure on his team-mates to adopt his own strict religious practice.

    At the same time, maybe coincidentally, Pakistan’s cricketing powers have been in decline. Like the country’s politicians, Pakistan’s cricket establishment has been riven by scandals and feuding. The country’s current best player, a Muslim fundamentalist called Muhammad Yousuf (who controversially converted from Christianity in 2005), has been banned from playing for Pakistan after falling out with the PCB. Two of the next best, Shoaib Akhtar and Muhammad Asif, have been periodically suspended for taking banned drugs and other misbehaviour.

    Compared with these latest jihadist murders in Lahore, this decline might seem trifling. But considered alongside them, it gives yet another sorry picture of a nation in turmoil.
    “A sharp knife never proclaims it’s sharpness to the world…but the first to fall against it becomes it’s advocate.”

    You can put any face behind a mask but be careful cos someone else might be pretending. You might not be the only one with a secret -- Cassie/Gretel

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    Taj
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    LAHORE, Pakistan - At least a dozen men ambushed Sri Lanka's cricket team with rifles, grenades and rocket launchers Tuesday, converging on the squad's convoy as it drove through a traffic circle near an eastern Pakistani stadium.

    Six policemen and a driver were killed and seven players, an umpire and a coach were wounded, none with life-threatening injuries.

    The attackers struck as a convoy carrying the squad and match officials reached a traffic circle 300 yards from the main sports stadium in the eastern city of Lahore, triggering a 15-minute gun battle with police guarding the vehicles.
    “A sharp knife never proclaims it’s sharpness to the world…but the first to fall against it becomes it’s advocate.”

    You can put any face behind a mask but be careful cos someone else might be pretending. You might not be the only one with a secret -- Cassie/Gretel

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    progressive masterflex's Avatar masterflex is offline
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    jus finish readin bout this... Pakistan nah go gett cricket for awhile now.... and just as they started to get back some matches ..... RIP to those you lost their lives ......
    One step at a time

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    Pork Mout Sugar Apple's Avatar Sugar Apple is offline
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    This is just sad......
    We going from Sun til Sun.......

  5. #5
    Taj
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    I think Australia and England cancel
    “A sharp knife never proclaims it’s sharpness to the world…but the first to fall against it becomes it’s advocate.”

    You can put any face behind a mask but be careful cos someone else might be pretending. You might not be the only one with a secret -- Cassie/Gretel

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    progressive masterflex's Avatar masterflex is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taj View Post
    I think Australia and England cancel
    yea dey had cancelled long b4 this .... and now yuh can bet yuh bottom dollar they not going there now or in de near future.....
    One step at a time

  7. #7
    Registered User Skilz™'s Avatar Skilz™ is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taj View Post
    I think Australia and England cancel
    New Zealand

  8. #8
    Taj
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skilz™ View Post
    New Zealand
    ah ok
    “A sharp knife never proclaims it’s sharpness to the world…but the first to fall against it becomes it’s advocate.”

    You can put any face behind a mask but be careful cos someone else might be pretending. You might not be the only one with a secret -- Cassie/Gretel

  9. #9
    Registered User Dr Insane's Avatar Dr Insane is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skilz™ View Post
    New Zealand
    West Indies as well.


    Pakistan will have to do all de tourin...

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