Politics October 19, 2007

A triumph of good sense

It would have been easy for the South Africans to curtail their tour and disappoint Pakistan cricket fans

The bomb that greeted Benazir Bhutto's return to Pakistan was a tragedy for the people who died and their families. A cricket tour seems of minor importance when placed against the scale of death in Karachi but it was inevitable that it would be reassessed.

A bombing outside the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi once brought a premature end to a New Zealand tour, an unsurprising outcome since the team was staying at the hotel. More recently, South Africa abandoned a tour of Sri Lanka after a bombing in Colombo. Hence South Afirca might have been expected to return home, but their decision to stay is a triumph of good sense.

The bomb blast was highly targeted and to assume that the South Africans are now suddenly at greater risk is not logical. It would have been easy for the South Africans to curtail their tour and disappoint Pakistan cricket fans. Yet this is a spirited South African team, which has outplayed Pakistan ever since it arrived. The bubble of success must help but, whatever the reason, South Africa's players and administrators must be congratulated for their decision to see the tour through. The last thing that Pakistan requires at this moment of violent turmoil is international isolation.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments