Shootout in Lahore March 4, 2009

Stand by me

The appalling events in Lahore have thrown a cloak of gloom over world cricket, and Pakistan cricket in particular
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The appalling events in Lahore have thrown a cloak of gloom over world cricket, and Pakistan cricket in particular. They have been covered comprehensively on this site and elsewhere by those far better qualified to comment, and far more acutely affected by the acts and their repercussions, than I am. I can add little but the same sorrow for the victims, the same relief that worse was avoided, and the same hope that Pakistan can live on as an international force, that all cricket lovers must be feeling.

Cricket will now have to attempt the impossible balancing act between player and public security and a refusal to bow to a violent microminority. Terrorists disgust and bore me at the best of times, and their self-indulgent, posturing destruction becomes no less repellent and tedious when they assault the world of sport, which is supposed to provide humanity with a temporary escape from the harsh realities of reality.

And cricket needs Pakistan. The Test game had been significantly less vibrant over the last 14 months without them. My first exposure to Pakistan cricket was in the brilliant 1982 series in England, when my nascent cricketing interest was far more intrigued by Mohsin Khan, Imran Khan and Abdul Qadir than it was by Chris Tavare, Ian Greig and Eddie Hemmings.

I was lucky enough to be at The Oval in 1992 to see Waqar Younis blast out Stewart, Atherton, Gooch and Gower in eight thunderously perfect overs of new-ball devastation. Concerted collective action will be necessary to ensure that the Waqars of the future will be able to make the Athertons of the future involuntarily head a barely-seen, almost-supersonic ball over the wicketkeeper for four leg-byes, as happened that day. This is set to be perhaps cricket’s greatest ever challenge.

The top-level international game involves few teams, which is both a strength, as it engenders the ongoing rivalries that have shaped and enlivened the game, and a weakness, as it is seriously compromised by the absence or decline of any of its members.

World cricket has a chequered recent record in acting for the collective good of its nations. It must now do everything in its power to help Pakistan maintain a prominent standing in the international game while its domestic situation remains so depressingly, apparently intractably, vulnerable.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Faizaan on April 3, 2009, 9:02 GMT

    People need to raise awareness of the fact that there is no such thing as god and religion is nothing more than childish supersition and the lowest form of human weakness. Put the focus on the one life and one shot you have and maybe everyone in the world will appreciate it more. The players in Pakistan have an amazing talent and gift and it is being wasted and they will never get another chance to use it.

  • Mustafa Chagla on March 5, 2009, 11:08 GMT

    A lot of readers here have posted an extremely gloomy picture of Pakistan cricket. Most of you have got it wrong. 1.Following cricket played in Pakistan, one would notice that even with small capacities of grounds, attendances at test matches would not be more than 10% at best. It was saddening to see test criket being played to empty stands. 2.The pitches that were being prepared for matches in Pak were hardly ever upto the mark - dead and batsmen friendly. 3.TV coverage offered for matches staged in Pakistan is probably the worst of the lot. Even with a sweetly timed cover drive, one can hear the hollow knock of the bat. 4.With venues like England suggested now,i can assure everyone that crowd capacities would be much more than what we get,quality of our batsmen would improve by playing on more lively tracks, test matches would be more result oriented & of course, the television coverage would be of superior quality. And pakistan will still continue to churn out superstars.

  • Rohan G. on March 5, 2009, 9:32 GMT

    Glad I'm not a cricket official as I really wouldn't know what to do in this situation. Send your teams to Pakistan or stop them from going? I don't want the terrorists to interfere with game, but surely safety must take priority. But if players don't go, what will happen to cricket in Pakistan? I really hope we can find meaningful ways to support them in their time of need.

    I'm another person on the list of people who love Pakistan cricket, actually they got me into cricket in the first place and I'm Australian!! When I saw Abdul Qadir bowl and heard about this ball, "the googly" it sucked me into the game entirely. I've been a fan of Pakistani cricket ever since.

    I hope you can find a solution to this terrible problem and the sooner the better.

  • daaniyal on March 5, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    Thanks Andy. Thanks.

  • Padmal Kolongahapitiya on March 5, 2009, 8:01 GMT

    Sri Lanka wanted help Pakistan cricket lovers by sending it's national team to Pakistan in a volatile time. Specially when all other test playing nations refused to come. But Pakistan government and officials did not keep their promise. They did not provide the security they promised. Sri Lankan cricketers and match officials survived with minor injuries but more than few policemen were killed. Who is talking about them, what's going to happen to their families. This is tragic. I feel sorry for Pakistan cricketers and fans.

  • Rizwan Takkhar on March 5, 2009, 7:27 GMT

    Great post bro. I've been shouting about this since the incident too, to just show a little positivity. Pakistani cricket will never die. We'll make it come up!

  • Muzaffar Saeed on March 5, 2009, 6:48 GMT

    Tony: Dont u ever say that "Pakistan as a country is Finished". There Tony: Dont u ever say that "Pakistan as a country is Finished". There are bad times for every nation but I am 110% sure we will bounce back as country, as a nation and of course as greatest cricketing nation. There will be many Waqars in the coming years with their toe crushing yorkers making it hell for the batsmenare bad times for every nation but I am 110% sure we will bounce back as country, as a nation and ofcourse as greatest cricketing nation. There will be many Waqars in the coming years with their toe crushing yorkers making it hell for the batsmen

  • bala on March 5, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    I think it was Inzy who told the media some time ago that terrorists thrive on public sympathy and they would do nothing against cricketers as the public opinion would turn against them. How wrong he has been,the terrorists(freedom fighters for some)clearly don't give a damn about public opinion.

  • SJ on March 5, 2009, 5:42 GMT

    Great post Andy!!This is all we need, a support from the world..but i'm utterly dissapointed on the reaction from Haroon lorgat or BCCI..Indian board has already offered that they can accomodate the world cup matches which are scheduled to be played in Pakistan. Is this a support or exploiting the oppotunity??Let me remind all, this was not the first time cricket or cricketer were attacked..i still remember the threats to pakistani team from extremist elements in india and even the incident of pitch digging in Mumbai a night before match. Its high time that the entire world take the stand and support each other. I'm sure people of the world "minus the leaders" can make this planet a liveable place again. I'm sure sanity will prevail in the end.

  • Shafiq on March 5, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    The incident a shame to pak administrators...We are sorry to the whole cricket world. Thanks for this article & thanks for the support all over the world. This was an attack by US-shit politics on pakistan (previously in mumbai on india) to throw us back in dark times....pakistani people are hit the worst. we need shoulders not abuses.

  • Faizaan on April 3, 2009, 9:02 GMT

    People need to raise awareness of the fact that there is no such thing as god and religion is nothing more than childish supersition and the lowest form of human weakness. Put the focus on the one life and one shot you have and maybe everyone in the world will appreciate it more. The players in Pakistan have an amazing talent and gift and it is being wasted and they will never get another chance to use it.

  • Mustafa Chagla on March 5, 2009, 11:08 GMT

    A lot of readers here have posted an extremely gloomy picture of Pakistan cricket. Most of you have got it wrong. 1.Following cricket played in Pakistan, one would notice that even with small capacities of grounds, attendances at test matches would not be more than 10% at best. It was saddening to see test criket being played to empty stands. 2.The pitches that were being prepared for matches in Pak were hardly ever upto the mark - dead and batsmen friendly. 3.TV coverage offered for matches staged in Pakistan is probably the worst of the lot. Even with a sweetly timed cover drive, one can hear the hollow knock of the bat. 4.With venues like England suggested now,i can assure everyone that crowd capacities would be much more than what we get,quality of our batsmen would improve by playing on more lively tracks, test matches would be more result oriented & of course, the television coverage would be of superior quality. And pakistan will still continue to churn out superstars.

  • Rohan G. on March 5, 2009, 9:32 GMT

    Glad I'm not a cricket official as I really wouldn't know what to do in this situation. Send your teams to Pakistan or stop them from going? I don't want the terrorists to interfere with game, but surely safety must take priority. But if players don't go, what will happen to cricket in Pakistan? I really hope we can find meaningful ways to support them in their time of need.

    I'm another person on the list of people who love Pakistan cricket, actually they got me into cricket in the first place and I'm Australian!! When I saw Abdul Qadir bowl and heard about this ball, "the googly" it sucked me into the game entirely. I've been a fan of Pakistani cricket ever since.

    I hope you can find a solution to this terrible problem and the sooner the better.

  • daaniyal on March 5, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    Thanks Andy. Thanks.

  • Padmal Kolongahapitiya on March 5, 2009, 8:01 GMT

    Sri Lanka wanted help Pakistan cricket lovers by sending it's national team to Pakistan in a volatile time. Specially when all other test playing nations refused to come. But Pakistan government and officials did not keep their promise. They did not provide the security they promised. Sri Lankan cricketers and match officials survived with minor injuries but more than few policemen were killed. Who is talking about them, what's going to happen to their families. This is tragic. I feel sorry for Pakistan cricketers and fans.

  • Rizwan Takkhar on March 5, 2009, 7:27 GMT

    Great post bro. I've been shouting about this since the incident too, to just show a little positivity. Pakistani cricket will never die. We'll make it come up!

  • Muzaffar Saeed on March 5, 2009, 6:48 GMT

    Tony: Dont u ever say that "Pakistan as a country is Finished". There Tony: Dont u ever say that "Pakistan as a country is Finished". There are bad times for every nation but I am 110% sure we will bounce back as country, as a nation and of course as greatest cricketing nation. There will be many Waqars in the coming years with their toe crushing yorkers making it hell for the batsmenare bad times for every nation but I am 110% sure we will bounce back as country, as a nation and ofcourse as greatest cricketing nation. There will be many Waqars in the coming years with their toe crushing yorkers making it hell for the batsmen

  • bala on March 5, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    I think it was Inzy who told the media some time ago that terrorists thrive on public sympathy and they would do nothing against cricketers as the public opinion would turn against them. How wrong he has been,the terrorists(freedom fighters for some)clearly don't give a damn about public opinion.

  • SJ on March 5, 2009, 5:42 GMT

    Great post Andy!!This is all we need, a support from the world..but i'm utterly dissapointed on the reaction from Haroon lorgat or BCCI..Indian board has already offered that they can accomodate the world cup matches which are scheduled to be played in Pakistan. Is this a support or exploiting the oppotunity??Let me remind all, this was not the first time cricket or cricketer were attacked..i still remember the threats to pakistani team from extremist elements in india and even the incident of pitch digging in Mumbai a night before match. Its high time that the entire world take the stand and support each other. I'm sure people of the world "minus the leaders" can make this planet a liveable place again. I'm sure sanity will prevail in the end.

  • Shafiq on March 5, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    The incident a shame to pak administrators...We are sorry to the whole cricket world. Thanks for this article & thanks for the support all over the world. This was an attack by US-shit politics on pakistan (previously in mumbai on india) to throw us back in dark times....pakistani people are hit the worst. we need shoulders not abuses.

  • Aheeq.G on March 5, 2009, 5:23 GMT

    What ever happend is very sad specially for pakistan cricket and to pakistan people, my prayers and sympathy is with them who gave lives fighting against terrorist. And also thanks to Almighty that srilankan players are safe and returned home as well.As for as pakistan is concerned we all know it has effect the most from terrorist in all aspect in year or so. first they have to improve security for them selfs and prove to other cricketing countries that our security is strong enough to protect the civilians as well as sports players other wise this the end of the road for pakistan cricket in pakistan

  • RavBalkish on March 5, 2009, 5:03 GMT

    Pakistan has turned a blind eye when it comes to admitting its role in conducting terror attacks in India - too many terror attacks in India have originated in Pakistan and none of them have resulted in convictions - Pakistan is now reaping the results of its indifference in its own soil - sorry for sri lankan cricketers - and thank god Indians did not go there - the usually idiotic BCCI somwhow showed better judgement

  • shak on March 5, 2009, 5:03 GMT

    Shaz what makes you think that these terrorists are non muslims ? If you see the news channels, all you would hear is islamic terrorist organizations being accused of these heinous act all over the world.

  • Ashfaq Shah on March 5, 2009, 4:57 GMT

    Thanks Andy for a wonderful article. I guess support is what Pakistan needs most at this crucial junction. It hurts to think that perhaps Younis Khan has already played his last test match at home ground.

  • GemsBond on March 5, 2009, 4:57 GMT

    I feel sorry for those who lost their lives in that attack.But if people of pakistan are feeling it then they must come up together to show it and fight for this terrorism along with the whole world.otherwise it is showing to be the near end of pakistan..........in the hands of these bloody idiots(terrorists).

  • hyder on March 5, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    one word...."Corrupt goverment" the current govt does not care about cricket, cricketers, sports or anything else... they juist like to fill thier pockets with money and take off... they offered Sri Lankan team "Presidential security" ha ! you think its that easy to attack Mr.Zardari.... Oh god its so sad to see the end of cricket in this way in Pakistan.... I love Cricket ... and I will mis watching Pakistan vs India and so on... especially in Pakistan... Folks this is over....

  • Paul on March 5, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    Hanif, Javed, Imran, Saeed, Inzi, the 2 W's, etc, etc. What fantastic players who have brought enjoyment to millions, even billions, all over the world. We cricket fans cannot stomach losing the chance to see players like this emerge from such a cricket-loving and talented country. It is easily as bad as when the cricket world lost S Africa and all the talent there. No more Mohammed Youseff - unthinkable, he's possibly the best batsman in the world, has long been a favourite of mine. These mindless idiots who have terrorised Pakistan and its people and cricket-lovers the world over, must not be allowed to win. Let us all unite and collectively bat and bowl them out of history. I'm feeling so sorry for the people of Pakistan, for the Pakistan players and obviously for the game of cricket in general. Peace. Paul (England).

  • Sampath on March 5, 2009, 4:13 GMT

    Hi I'm a Sri Lanken and I love cricket very much.

    Actually i started to watch cricket because of pakistani players in 1985 when I was just 10 years.I wanted become a bowler like Imran one day. When we played cricket at school i coppied Imran's action....i think most of class mates did so...So we like to see again pakistan play cricket very soon.As a sri lanken i like very much if they can win next world cup then it will be a good answear to the TERRORISM....pakistan sinda bad!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Tim on March 5, 2009, 3:12 GMT

    With the assassination of Bhutto, the assassination attempts on Musharraf, the bombings in Islamabad, Pakistan's lost war in the tribal areas, and now this, it is apparent that Pakistan's homegrown enemies can strike at will at any time and location of their choosing. This is unsurprising considering that Pakistan's government, military and intelligence are heavily infiltrated by terrorist groups. As a result, civil authority should be considered collapsed, and Pakistan is now a nuclear-armed failed state.

    It's time for Pakistan to recognise the failure of the "Islamic state" experiment. You cannot found a country on the basis of hatred against your neighbour, and survive as a nation. Maybe Pakistan will now consider re-uniting with India as a last resort - assuming India even wants to govern the mess.

  • David on March 5, 2009, 2:34 GMT

    The time has come to regard terrorists with the same lack of respect and care for humanity that they show us. No longer can we simply sit back when known terrorist cells make threats, we must as the majority become vigilant towards those that would perpetrate these acts.

    For too long, good men have done nothing in the face of this version of evil, it is time we took up arms against it and gave them something more to fear than inept police forces and over-stretched intelligence agencies.

  • Shaz on March 5, 2009, 1:43 GMT

    Being a Pakistani and with a huge passion for the game of cricket, I am very sad, deeply hurt and totally depressed knowing the incident which took place in lahore - a place where no one can imagine being targetted like this. Furthermore on cricket players. I feel Pakistan if is left alone will never recover and will encourage terrorists to think that they have won. I sincerely hope these narrow minded selfish non-muslim non-religious terrorists are wiped off from the region. As rightly mentioned above, Pakistan is a beautiful country with beautiful people, handled by the wrong government and wrong politics.

  • Danil on March 5, 2009, 1:37 GMT

    Remember what Indonesia did for BALI bombers. Pakistan must do the same.

  • Revan on March 5, 2009, 1:10 GMT

    I could not agree with your comments and sentiments. Cricket needs pakistan, pakistan needs cricket, the world of cricket needs the rich contributions from talented pakistanis. Pakistanis control their own future and destiny in world cricket, the first step is to look at themselves, their countrymen and their country's sad state of affairs and see what they can do change the course. Blaming every act on their enemies sounds old, nobody believes in such excuses. Every country has enemies and they keep them at bay or under control. So good luck to pakistanis in controlling their own destiny , and steer their country's cricket and more importantly their whole country in the right direction.

  • Revan on March 5, 2009, 1:09 GMT

    I could not agree with your comments and sentiments. Cricket needs pakistan, pakistan needs cricket, the world of cricket needs the rich contributions from talented pakistanis. Pakistanis control their own future and destiny in world cricket, the first step is to look at themselves, their countrymen and their country's sad state of affairs and see what they can do change the course. Blaming every act on their enemies sounds old, nobody believes in such excuses. Every country has enemies and they keep them at bay or under control. So good luck to pakistanis in controlling their own destiny , and steer their country's cricket and more importantly their whole country in the right direction.

  • tim on March 4, 2009, 23:34 GMT

    little to argue about in the posts; but how does Pakistan deal with the terrorists? is it best left to its own people or does it need international support? as a westerner i am sympathetic to the hypothesis that the problems in Pakistan are connected to US and its Allies' actions, but fear that this is simplistic. We have to create societies where the ownership of guns, let alone more heavy artillery is completely unacceptable. whatever the fear the terorists engender we ahve to recognise that there must have been scores of people that must have known about the possession of rocket launchers etc. I am completely in tune with the statement that the principal victims of what is happening in pakistan are Pakistanis, but we need to focus on how this can be resolved. Cricket's greatest legacy would be a premanent cessation of the violence that saw eight men lose their lives.

  • libertarian on March 4, 2009, 23:21 GMT

    Everyone should support Pakistan cricket ... . And if Pakistan ceases to be then everyone should support Sindhudesh Cricket, Balochistan Cricket, Punjabistan Cricket and Afghania Cricket. Bangladesh ain't such a bad team ... produced by the same logic.

  • Farooq on March 4, 2009, 23:15 GMT

    Pakistan is the example of what happens if people give put their religion over evrything else. Get over it.

  • WW on March 4, 2009, 23:01 GMT

    Cricketers can't be expected to put their lives at risk because of a boorish micro-minority. This is both true and horribly unfair to the majority of Pakistani fans - and Zimbaweans, and anyone else afflicted. However we can't expect Sri Lankans or others to be forced to get shot at - and ICC rules fining teams that refuse to tour the likes of Pakistan and Zimbabwe are immoral and should go. However we must be careful not to reward the terrorists with publicity and disruption. We need to support Pakistan cricket - and I for one hope they go on to play New Zealand and Australia in either neutral venues or the antipodes.

  • Mark on March 4, 2009, 22:58 GMT

    The Sri Lankans were brave to tour Pakistan - after all Pakistan did tour Sri Lanka when Australia and West Indies pulled out in 1996. But the security lapses are a disgrace. No security in the bus, and just a single vehicle with Police?? Is this what you call VVIP? It is a joke. Lets face it - Pakistan forces are corrupt to the bone. No wonder they can't fight Al-Qaeda and Taliban is gaining ground. If Cricket in Pakistan is to thrive, these problems need to be addressed first. PS - next time Sri Lanka tours, I advice them to take some of the Special Forces. They would have nailed the attackers in a few minutes.

  • Jawed Iqbal on March 4, 2009, 22:19 GMT

    Whenever there is a tragedy in Pakistan, some people use that as an opportunity to label the country as a "failed state", not b/c it is..but b/c they want to see it that way. There is no doubt (and I speak for millions of Pakistanis) that this was the work of enemies of Pakistan and we all know who that is.

    I'm also ticked off at the "white" criketers and the wanna be whiteys of india who pulled out of tours even before this incident. There is a deliberate attempt by the govs of these countries to isolate Pakistan like they did to south africa in the 90's and they're using their sportsmen for this despicable goal.

  • Sai Krishna on March 4, 2009, 22:16 GMT

    Pakistan cricket does need the support of world cricket.However, I think it is unrealistic to expect cricketers / boards to risk their lives after such an incident.The ease with which "presidential security" was broken down can frighten very brave people.The pakistani board needs to assure that every possible step to avoid such incidents are taken (it is very obvious they were not) and teams would automatically come.This problem is much bigger than cricket.Unless the moderate and sensible people in pakistan take steps to eliminate or atleast control the extremists there would be no hope for any way of life there leave alone cricket.

  • agdwa on March 4, 2009, 21:55 GMT

    Fuck Pakistan

  • TMKB6B on March 4, 2009, 21:18 GMT

    Thanks andy well said or can I say well written. the world has to decide either to fight terrorists or knelt before them. One remark by syam kumar really hurts about the faith of Sri Lankan team does it means if you are not Budhist you can be targated without regret what about the security force people wao give their lives to save the honorable guests what about the security personal in Mumbai are they fair game because they are Muslims or Hindus no my friend a human life is much more preciouse a Budhist has the same right to live as a hindu has.

  • Chris on March 4, 2009, 21:14 GMT

    Great piece, pulling away from Pakistan only strengthens the attackers. Others should support Pakistan Cricket, they did the best they could. Only the politics and the politicians make it worse. Maybe this will be the end of terrorism, I am sure the civilians will hate them for bringing a bad name to Pakistan.

  • Zohaib on March 4, 2009, 21:14 GMT

    well, sadly i have to say that pakistan is now facing exile from cricket like South Africa during apartheid and even being a great fan of paki players , looks like pakistan cricket is going to crash in an abyss

  • Goobadah on March 4, 2009, 21:03 GMT

    As an Australian I was moved to complete shock. I stood looking at the news broadcast completely numb with a feeling like none I have ever experienced. The idea that cricket could be used by small minded murderers to alienate a country from the rest of the world makes me feel more angry than I can express without words that cannot be printed here. If I were an Australian player I would stand up and declare my desire to play in Pakistan purely out of defience to the childish hurtful act of the murderers. Cricket will never completely recover from this

  • raja on March 4, 2009, 20:35 GMT

    those who live by the sword die by it. hope all pakistani cricket lovers heed my words and guide their ever-so-misguided nation to a better path. else, not just pakistani cricket n cricketers n cricket fans - but the entire country will cease to exist

  • Emmad on March 4, 2009, 20:20 GMT

    Thank you Andy I am a journalist and covered the first test in Karachi, the Sri Lankans are easily the most humble and friendly cricket team I ve met thus far, May God bless them and the ones who laid their lives, it is high time that we unite especially the inhabitants of the sub-continent since it is we who have let our leaders exploit us to the core!!. Cricket needs Pakistan, as much as Pakistanis need cricket, don't let the game die here, let us all unite before it is too late

  • Emmad on March 4, 2009, 20:06 GMT

    Thank you Andy I am a journalist and covered the first test in Karachi, the Sri Lankans are easily the most humble and friendly cricket team I ve met thus far, May God bless them and the ones who laid their lives, it is high time that we unite especially the inhabitants of the sub-continent since it is we who have let our leaders exploit us to the core!!. Cricket needs Pakistan, as much as Pakistanis need cricket, don't let the game die here, let us all unite before it is too late

  • Rahul on March 4, 2009, 20:05 GMT

    Sorry this may come across as rude but pakistan is reaping the fruits of its own deeds. This is exactly what happens when you support and use Taliban as a "cheap force" to fight India. One day the taliban snake was going to strike pakistan back anywayz, it happened now and the future might see it happening on a larger scale. Have fun Pakistan...

  • krishna on March 4, 2009, 19:42 GMT

    Pakistan all out because of there own Frankenstein. Pakistan C Al-Queda b LeT 2

  • Well Wisher on March 4, 2009, 19:36 GMT

    Pakistan has produced some great cricketers, no doubt about that. But you cannot invite someone to play cricket with fear of getting killed. People in pakistan have to be practical. Its only them who can improve the situation by taking correct steps. I hope they do otherwise we will not see some "future" stars of cricket.

  • zain on March 4, 2009, 19:24 GMT

    thanks andy being a pakistani i am sorry to the srilankan in particular and world cricketing community in general we are a cricket loving nation and need cricket lovers help from all over the world its is tough now for you ppl to come here but lets stand together against terrorism. innocent cricketers have nothing against you not the cricket lovers pakistan must not be sidelined in international cricket now and must be played against at neutral venues. please lets save cricket in a cricket loving country for crickets sake

  • Mudassar Rana on March 4, 2009, 19:24 GMT

    these events have been orchestrated by people at the very top. the lapse in security, the lack of bullet proof vehicles all point to the fact that there was a deliberate reduction in security. these were not your typical terrorists. terrorists have no gripe with cricket nor sri lanka. sri lanka is a friendly nation and one that even after this tragedy has behaved with amazing grace and honour. we salute the bravery of the nations poor sons that make up the punjab police that gave their lives to protect our guests. We condemn those involved in this action in particular those in charge of security and those who wish to damage our brotherly relations with sri lanka.

  • Tayyab on March 4, 2009, 19:18 GMT

    Thnx Alot Andy. The most disheartening facts of the whole episode were the loss of human lives, and broken trust. Sri Lankas showed true professionalism which unfortunately was not shared by high ups responsible for security and hence all the blood shed and death of those 8 policemen and innocent civilians and injuries to officials and players. As for cricket, well it will live on, but for the trust ...... One can only hope now.

  • zain on March 4, 2009, 19:17 GMT

    thanks Andy well being a pakistani i am sorry first of all to all srilankans in particular and world commuity in general. we are a cricket loving nation and love cricketers irrespective of where they come from. yes we have security problems and we have to fix them but we need your help. i appeal the world community not to stand against but to help us out so that we can provide the world with likes of wasim waqar imran shoaib saqlain saeed afridi and many others and so that we can cherish every moment of this beautiful game. lets stand together and win this test match against terrorism pakistan should improve conditions inside and must play on a neutral venue now and other countries must welcome them for humanities sake and to beat terrorists i salute the courrage of srilankans again for being so brave and i am sorry for this security lapse hope it will be an eye openner for future cricket in any neighbouring country including india srilanka bangladesh must not suffer

  • sumaiya on March 4, 2009, 19:14 GMT

    thanks everybone and andy 4 supporting us(pakistan).but m sure there is must b some foreign hand invovle in the incident.playing cricket is not unislamic.v shud salute policemen and bus driver who saved SL team.SL team knows that ppl of pakistan love them alot.lets hope cricket will b soon cum to our home soil.but v need the support of the cricket world in this hour.

  • muneeb on March 4, 2009, 19:09 GMT

    I am a Pakistani living in the US and the events day before yesterday brought me to tears. I am originally from Lahore and to think that anything like this would happen in that city is surreal. My deepest gratitude and sentiment out to the Sri Lankan players who stood by us when even our long-time allies in India (rightfully) stood back. I must say thank you to Zaltzman for such a wonderful heart warming article. More than anything else though, I am uplifted and eternally grateful for the support pouring in from around the world, especially from our siblings in India. It gives me hope and inspiration knowing that you all know the difference between the true Pakistanis and this wretched scum that has invaded our territories. I hope and pray that the Pakistani government is empowered with a force that can once and for all free us of this burden and return us to the days where the difference between Pakistan and India was only by name.

    Thank you all for your prayers and support.

  • Raaj on March 4, 2009, 18:55 GMT

    I believe the blame squarely lies with the Govt. system in that country and the cricket board, they should not have promised Z security to the team when they could not in practical sense. The is false representation of facts.

    I feel sorry for the Pakistan crickters, poor guys are to suffer for the ineptitude of their Govt. Now they will be further starved of international circiket and as somebody rightly said youngsters would rather do something else than take up cricket as a career.

  • Amit on March 4, 2009, 18:53 GMT

    Match referee says security forces vanished, left officials to be "sitting ducks" .....Bad , very bad. Pakistanis should clean their country first before getting any sympathy.

  • Junaid Asghar on March 4, 2009, 18:50 GMT

    Thanx for the support pouring in from all over the globe. The Pakistani Cricket in its darkest phase needs these small glimmers and words of hope. Light one lamp each and the whole way will get lightened up.

  • rahul rishi on March 4, 2009, 18:21 GMT

    My heart goes out for the Srilankan team who endured much hardship and close encounter terrorist attacks, and had to leave Pak in utter shock and collapse. If anything, the crisis of cricket in pak underscores the depth of the political failures of the its past coupled with breeding ground for terrorists and religious fanatics who see cricket as a 'distracting event'. The Srilankan Board must not risk their players at the cost of sustaining corporate side of cricket in pakistan. It's high time the nations understand that Pak is no more a fertile ground for young cricketing turks but terrorists. The attack reflects the sorry saga of state of affairs within Pakistan. Pakistan can't sustain its cricketing atmosphere until & unless it discards the self created envelope of fundamentalism and myopic religious dogmas that exist within its [un]civil society. The evil of jehad that pak once created & baptised has come back to haunt its most admired sport. Cricket.

  • rahul rishi on March 4, 2009, 18:17 GMT

    My heart goes out for the Srilankan team who endured much hardship and close encounter terrorist attacks, and had to leave Pak in utter shock and collapse. If anything, the crisis of cricket in pak underscores the depth of the political failures of the its past coupled with breeding ground for terrorists and religious fanatics who see cricket as a 'distracting event'. The Srilankan Board must not risk their players at the cost of sustaining corporate side of cricket in pakistan. It's high time the nations understand that Pak is no more a fertile ground for young cricketing turks but terrorists. The attack reflects the sorry saga of state of affairs within Pakistan. Pakistan can't sustain its cricketing atmosphere until & unless it discards the self created envelope of fundamentalism and myopic religious dogmas that exist within its [un]civil society. The evil of jehad that pakistan once patronised has come back to haunt its most admired sport. Cricket.

  • gaurav on March 4, 2009, 17:41 GMT

    well in this hour of crisis we are wth pakistani cricket fans and yes no body is talking about those who died in mishap may their souls live in peace!!!!!!!!! but at the same time shame on PCB and pak govt. now they cant invite any side to play in pakistan. it is the pakistani people who will suffer but insha allah conditions will improve....

  • Preetam( With love from India) on March 4, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    Everyone should support Pakistan and their cricket at this gravest team. I am not Pakistani but always admired the talent they possessed. Cricket lovers cannot be deprived of talents of the likes of Wasim, Waqars, Imran and Miandad. Pakistan has always been the great country culturally with loving people but has been ruled by wrong people and wrong policies since its birth. Its high time civilized people(99.99%) of people of Pakistan take matter in their own hands and show it to the world that they do not love terrorists or their acts.

  • rajiv on March 4, 2009, 17:24 GMT

    Yes...to think that we might not see a Sachin take on a shoaib akhtar at Gaddafi,now maybe forever is a horrendous prospect for Pakistan and world cricket.The Ordinary people of Pakistan do not deserve this.

  • umairn on March 4, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    Great article, and as a Pakistani and as a cricket fan, it's heartening to see support from all over. Yesterday was the darkest day in our cricket history, and apart from the backing of other cricket boards, we need to make a fist of it ourselves. We need to play cricket... wherever and however. The reality is that till the security situation does not clearly get better in Pakistan, all we can really hope are overseas cricket. We're going through hell, but we shall rise up again. Pakistan zindabad.

  • danish mirza on March 4, 2009, 16:46 GMT

    The PCB is run by a bunch of Incompetent individuals. Where was the High Security? Sri-Lankan team should have had Pakistan Army providing security, not policemen. How did they know the route the team was taking, why werent these roads closed off? Honestly PCB never thought cricket would be a target of terrorism, therefore they did not bother providing proper security. They have destroyed the image of pakistani cricket and insulted Pakistan, and also their ignorance cost the lives of 6 policemen. Thanks Andy, Pakistan needs everyones support. For years the region has been plagued with violence and terrorism. We are fortunate that no Sri Lankan player died. It is a sign, no cricket is safe, whether it be Australia, England, Indian, South Africa. Terrorism is a world - wide problem. Don't simply blame the Pakistani people. I say this again and again PCB is an incompetent organization. They should be heavily punished and its board members (handling security) should be fired.

  • Manny on March 4, 2009, 16:19 GMT

    A regretable inccident. Well written article and comments. I like the comments posted by Zalman specially that Pakistan team should play their tests even Mohali or Amritsar for the next few years until things calm down. Amritsar is next door and may also help improve relations between the neighboring and major cricket playing nations. Long live cricket........Long live Pakistan. We all need to work together to defeat terrorism.

  • Alex on March 4, 2009, 16:10 GMT

    I think it is more profitable to be terrorist in pakistan than cricketer. Do not forget 9 virgin wives.

  • liaqat on March 4, 2009, 16:06 GMT

    i blame pak authorities, 12 men came n left destruction beyond border n vanished, i wish all 12 were killed there n thn, but shamfully pakistan authorities were GOD knws were, my anger is to my country pakistani's leaders, wake up u donkeys.

  • Anupam on March 4, 2009, 15:54 GMT

    Pakistan has provided some mercurial moments of the game . Who can forget Javed Miandad hitting a hapless Chetan Sharma for a six of the last ball of an innings or Saqlain curtailing Sachin's outstanding innings in Chennai . These are some spectacular moments in cricketing history . We need to support Pakistani cricket in its hour of need but one has to find means to ensure the safety of cricketers and the public in general . Who would take the onus of doing that and how long that would take are questions that remain unanswered.

  • Stani Army on March 4, 2009, 15:51 GMT

    Andy! You are being too modest when you say this has been covered "comprehensively on this site and elsewhere by those far better qualified to comment, and far more acutely affected by the acts and their repercussions, than I am".

    I have read most of what has been written and nobody apart from you had the presence of mind to think of the Pakistani people and Pakistani cricket, two of the biggest victims in this who have already been forgotten by everyone else.

    On the behalf of Stani Army, we thank you.

  • Mohamed Z. Rahaman (Breado) on March 4, 2009, 15:42 GMT

    It is often said that West Indies is everyone else's 2nd favourite team. Well for me, a West Indian, Pakistan has always been my 2nd favorite team. For 2 reasons. #1. My foreparents are from the sub-continent and #2. The Pakistani players are a lot like us West Indians in their approach to the game. Finess, power, strong, brute force, attacking, unorthodox and the list goes on. I remember when Miandiad first came to the WI and he played a shot.. the commentator would just say "that's a Caribbean shot" or "he'll have no problem finding a place in the WI team." We need Pakistan and Pakistan needs us. I know that Pakistan have greater problems than cricket, but sports is and always has been a necessary diversion that is needed in peoples lives. So I pray that we get past this very soon Insha'Allah (God Willing) and Pakistan will once again be a shining star. Mohamed (Guyana)

  • Faisal on March 4, 2009, 15:36 GMT

    Andy, unfortunately a very few people think like you. But you share the feelings of a true Pakistani Cricket Fan. They say Cricket is like religion in India, they have no clue what Cricket is to Pakistan. Its a way of life for Pakistan. If this is taken away from us, then our way of life is taken away from us, and its not fair to any human or any nation. We love Cricket and we will do anything and everything to defend it. Cricket's history and glory is indeed incomplete without the Imrans, Wasims and Waqars. One day Inshallah, Pakistan will come back strong. And no worries about the talent Andy, like i said, in Pakistan Cricket is by nature, its like in our blood, Great Cricketers will keep emerging from our Soil.....

  • Anil on March 4, 2009, 15:35 GMT

    You sounded empty, Andy! You didn't suggest what "everything" the international cricket community should do. They cannot catch the terrorists in Pak and punish; Pakistan has to do it. All that the other countries can do is to host Pak team; and the talks are already on. So, your appeal is unnecessary here. The Pakistani fans must come out of the self-denial mode: "if Pakistan is boycotted, the terrorists win". This is a stupid logic. That means, to give the terrorists the feeling that they have not won yet, all players from all cricketing nations must lay their chests bare in Pakistan so that the terrorists drain every drop of their blood! What an appalling mentality! Instead, the fans must ask themselves the question: why terrorism came to such a state in that country, and what must be done. Cricket must take the backstage. All terrorists and all their hideouts must be eliminated from that country. I suggest Pakistani fans volunteer to fight the terrorists. That'l bring the game back.

  • SAJN on March 4, 2009, 15:30 GMT

    Thanks Andy Zaltzman for your excellent piece.All the peace loving people of Pakistan must compliment you on your words of support.We expect other members of the International Community to follow your example and join in providing us the hope & encouragement we need at this hour. May GOD Bless you!

  • Farhan on March 4, 2009, 15:11 GMT

    I'm still in the state of shock that how could this happen to the players, who are not only very good cricketer but very very nice human beings. I have met Murli, Jayasuria and Arnold in Dubai and know they are down to earth, fun loving persons. Since this incident occur in our country, I wish I could apologies personally to all the Sri Lankans and specially their cricket team. We want cricket in Pakistan, and certainly the motive of the terrorist is to push us away from watching competitive cricket.

  • Faisal Sami Qadir on March 4, 2009, 15:06 GMT

    Thanks for this MR. Andy. Seriously, we too are in great pain and believe me, it just looks like a bad dream. I hope world cricket understands it. Its high time that the government of Pakistan as well as the people stand up to it. Enough is enough and now we Pakistanis had to make sure that such unloving terrorists are not able to ruin the name of Pakistan and Islam.

  • Amirali on March 4, 2009, 15:05 GMT

    I don't think any team is going to tour Pakistan till security situation improves, and that is certainly wise in the years to come. However, I think it would send the wrong message to call a formal boycott. It gives the impression and symbolism that Pakistan is being punished and isolated for being victims of terrorism. There's no need for such a measure.

  • Arsalan Khan on March 4, 2009, 15:05 GMT

    Thankyou so much for understanding, I was in tears.

  • Baber on March 4, 2009, 15:05 GMT

    tony, i m not sure wherever you heard about cricket being unislamic.need i mention that ITS

    NOT TRUE, Islam all revolves around peace and NO WHERE teaches hostility..and i hav failed

    to understand why or on wat grounds hav people started to blame us othrwise, islam has

    existed since 1400 years,our teachings remaining UNALTERED so how has the world started to

    feel terorised by us since the past 15 odd yrs, but people in the 1385yrs prior to that had

    no problems with muslims? we hav only discovered oil wells,and not weapon wells ! maybe thats why? so next time u hear sumthing lik that bout a religion better look up an authentic source before first registering it in your brain.peace.

  • Khan on March 4, 2009, 15:03 GMT

    THANKS Andy!!!! as every true cricket lover, and most importantly every human being who is sick of these “microminorities” agrees with you and as a Pakistani I really appreciate your support. These violent people think that by attacking our daily way of life, of which cricket is a huge part, they will be able to terrorize and make our nation a hostage but little do they know that as a nation this country is not what the “tonys” of the world depict us to be (by the way tony congrats on being successfully annoying most people who read this post by your own ignorant personal agenda). Pakistani cricket was at its top when Imran Khan was our leader, today we lack leaders like him not on the cricket field as much as we miss that leadership in PCB, in our Security System and in overall leadership that our country has. Nothing will stop cricket and the love for it in millions of hearts around the globe and a little bit of encouragement/support is what a cricket crazy nation need.

  • Baber on March 4, 2009, 14:55 GMT

    I hav loved cricket since as long as i can remember. Living in karachi I have been to every single cricket match thats happened here, and have a great memory attached to each one of those days. Now,hearing people say that the future of internatinal cricket in pakistan looks bleak, brings a horrible feeling to me. Each one of us, living in this country is directly affected by this and we need articles like these to help us recover from the mental trauma that we r going through. thanks Andy.

  • syamkumar on March 4, 2009, 14:54 GMT

    well for pakistan to garner the support of other boards, it must enhance its security to a great level. Because the srilankans were given promises about tight security but still they were attacked.so first pakistan should increase its security and then ivite other boards to play cricket in pakistan.

  • syamkumar on March 4, 2009, 14:53 GMT

    well for pakistan to garner the support of other boards, it must enhance its security to a great level. Because the srilankans were given promises about tight security but still they were attacked.so first pakistan should increase its security and then ivite other boards to play cricket in pakistan.

  • Vatsal on March 4, 2009, 14:52 GMT

    Terrorists can be defeated in only one way..and that is by killing them. I have no space for a moral vistory over terrorists. Just finish them.

  • syamkumar on March 4, 2009, 14:50 GMT

    well for pakistan to garner the support of other boards, it must enhance its security to a great level. Because the srilankans were given promises about tight security but still they were attacked.so first pakistan should increase its security and then ivite other boards to play cricket in pakistan.

  • Sunil on March 4, 2009, 14:23 GMT

    Are you out of your mind Nikhil? You want to invite the Pak team to India, irrespective of what happened in Mumbai. In fact, what should happen is that, even India should be boycotted by the nations for security reasons, and only then I think Pak (if they are interested) and India (if they have the guts) can get together and throw these terrorists out once and for all. Without local support the terrorists cannot do anything. The first thing to do is to kill the local support (like what happened in Punjab). The people in India and Pak should feel that these terrorists are not helping anybody. The ordinary citizen is more worried about providing food to his family than whether Islam should rule the world or not. Politics aside, Pak should stop supporting (in reality, not for the media) guys like Dawood and all the known miscreants.

  • Pochard on March 4, 2009, 14:19 GMT

    Totally on the mark as usual, Andy.

    We have all missed Pakistan from the international cricket scene, and hopefully solutions can be found through neutral venues, etc, with support from other national boards, so that this great country's participation in the game is not curtailed.

    And to attack the Sri Lankans! This is one of the best-loved teams - most of them are Buddhists, for heavens' sake! How could these vile people target them? It's like kicking the cat because you're cross with the dog.

  • Arif on March 4, 2009, 14:07 GMT

    Great Post Tony, thoughtful and not seat of the pants. Kudos. Agneesh, posts like yours and others I have read like those, tell me that there are a few people that would not like Pakistan cricket to flourish because if we begin boycotting cricket in Pakistan... haven't the terrorists won??

  • Rex on March 4, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    I'm from India and I became a fan of Sohail Tanvir and Misha-Ul-Haq after the T20 World Cup in 2007. In fact, Misbah impressed India with his batting the last time Pakistan toured us. I wanted to see how he would do against attacks like Australia or South Africa or England.

    I really hope they and all the Pakistani cricketers have a long and cherished career. I sincerely hope cricket can continue normally, without incident that is, because it may not be as joyous as before.

    I've followed Younis Khan's career right from his debut. I didn't rate him much as a batsman initially, but I've had great respect for his batting in recent years and I hope future Younis Khans, Misbahs and Sohails are not deterred from the game. I hope I get the opportunity to follow more Pakistan players careers and remind myself of my wrong perceptions, rather than read about how low Pakistan cricket is falling because of it's domestic terrorist problems.

  • Uddipan on March 4, 2009, 13:40 GMT

    The issue is that the Pakistani state and the Army continues to provide unabashed help to terrorists.

    First, Mumbai; then, Lahore. Who are the Pakistani administration and their supporters looking to fool by their constant denial? Ostrich-denial will get this country nowhere. NO GOOD ever comes from sleeping with snakes...Pakistan better realise this and act fast, before it gets finished as a country.

    Let me be clear - I do not blame their people; they seem pretty genial. The issue lies with the strength of the Army and the weakness of the State. How can the Army take credit for any action now, despite a 'democratic' government?

    How long will they depend on US aid? If only the people realise that they can become a truly prosperous nation by leveraging labour arbitrage, they can perhaps create all-round decisive momentum for stability and peace.

    My request to the people of Pakistan is this: - Change your mindset. - Solve your problems. - Achieve economic freedom and greatness

  • Goobadah on March 4, 2009, 13:39 GMT

    As an Australian I was moved to complete shock. I stood looking at the news broadcast completely numb with a feeling like none I have ever experienced. The idea that cricket could be used by small minded murderers to alienate a country from the rest of the world makes me feel more angry than I can express without words that cannot be printed here. If I were an Australian player I would stand up and declare my desire to play in Pakistan purely out of defience to the childish hurtful act of the murderers. Cricket will never completely recover from this

  • Xalman on March 4, 2009, 13:25 GMT

    Well put Zaltman. The other victim after the SL cricket team was Pakistan cricket and our national pride. Americas war on terror has put us in the epicenter of global terrorism and rationally all of this may run as long as the war on terror does. As for cricket, Cricket did not die in the South African apartheid.Pakistani Board must impose a self ban and not ask teams to tour. Pakistan team should play their tests in England, the UAE or even Mohali or Amritsar for the next few years until things calm down.

  • Faizul Haque on March 4, 2009, 13:24 GMT

    Thanks to Andy Zaltzman for an excellent article.

    ICC and world cricket must stand beside Pakistan Cricket. Otherwise, Crciket will die soon. It is a game of a billion people. Cricket must move on (I like the statement made by David Morgan). In international cricket, Pakistan is an exciting team. All cricketing nations must through their full support for the Pakistani Cricketers and the Pakistan to keep the world cricket alive.

  • Shoaib on March 4, 2009, 12:57 GMT

    Great post man...

  • Khawja Shams on March 4, 2009, 12:50 GMT

    Bravo Andy! We have been looking for such support for a while now. Whatever happened was very sad. But all respective boards need to support PCB at this time. PCB needs all support from ICC also more than it needed ever before. I agree with Dr. Najeeb there are many enemies of Pakistan who did this. Maybe some political aspect is invloved in it too. Thanks once again Andy for your support

  • Richard on March 4, 2009, 12:37 GMT

    totally agree with the sentiment.

    I was thinking, as a Brit, if it weren't for cricket, how much would I really know about Pakistan? probably very little. But because of sentiments similar to these - particularly about Abdul Qadir, a personal favourite of mine - I've come to be a huge fan of Pakistan over the years and have developed good friendships with people from there. Because of cricket I'm deeply upset by yesterdays events and because of cricket I know how unrepresentative the perpetrators are of the people of that magnificent country.

    International cricket with Pakistan must continue, somehow. Without it we are all a lot more distant, a lot more ignorant of each other.

  • Larry on March 4, 2009, 12:17 GMT

    I remember the despair watching Safraz take 7 wickets for 5 runs when it looked like we were home. I also remember the confrontations between Miandad and just about very Aussie cricketer. Great times for all lovers of the game. I sincerely hope that this attrocity can be overcome for the sake of the decent people in Pakistan. Vale the courageous Policemen who lost their lives protecting freedom in their country.

  • Nikhil Singh on March 4, 2009, 11:59 GMT

    We sure need more of Wasim and Waqar sure we need to all join hands and help these guys out it can start with India inviting Pakistan Cricket team to India.............. i just hope

  • Hassan on March 4, 2009, 11:35 GMT

    Thanks Andy. As a 7 year-old child growing up in Birmingham, England- I watched my first test series in 1992 where I remember Waqar's spell at the Oval. It is important that England is our new home so that we can give the team the support and write a glorious new chapter in the history of our great game.

  • dee on March 4, 2009, 11:04 GMT

    Pakistans journey from mid 2006 when they were going very well, with rising new players, has been incredible, they have been through more problems than any team ever in the history of sport. the oval test fiasco, losing to ireland and bob woolmers death at the world cup, frequent board overhauls, who thought it could get worse than that. The country is now crippled by terrorism, I feel sorry for the people and the cricket fans, we have a global political and economical crisis, this is really times of chaos throughout the world, no one is immune, hopefully reason will prevail.

  • Farooq Malik on March 4, 2009, 10:02 GMT

    Tony - the people of Pakistan are facing the brunt of terrorism. They are not appreciating it and want it finished more than anyone else. To suggest that the whole country is complicit smacks of insensitivity and borders on rascims. First go to Pakistan and see how the people are coping. Don't assume by sitting in front of a PC.

  • Agneesh on March 4, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    its sad for Pakistan cricket, but some-1 has to take the accountability and in my perspective the major culpril is SLC to force the players to tour pakistan in this current volatile circumstances and on top of it they were warned by Australian security experts too.

  • Jamal on March 4, 2009, 9:37 GMT

    i feel sorry for the pakistan and sri lanka cricket teams. they shouldnt have attacked the cricketers, i will sit and pray not for pakistan but for thier cricket team to rise agian and play agian. i hope the world cup stays there.

  • Agneesh on March 4, 2009, 9:37 GMT

    its sad for Pakistan cricket, but some-1 has to take the accountability and in my perspective the major culpril is SLC to force the players to tour pakistan in this current volatile circumstances and on top of it they were warned by Australian security experts too.

  • asjad ali on March 4, 2009, 9:33 GMT

    we need pakistan cricket! What would world cricket have been like without the likes of wasim akram, waqar younis, saeed anwar, inzy etc etc... we cant let terror win, these evil people need to be caught!!

  • Dr Najeeb on March 4, 2009, 9:26 GMT

    Well done zaltzman. We as a nation are going through this agony of violent acts being carried out repeatedly. For tony who mentioned cricket as being believed Unislamic, does not hold true at all, we deeply respect the game. Also, our countrymen are NOT Responsible for every act! We got lots of enemies, believe me!

  • Zuhair on March 4, 2009, 9:14 GMT

    Great Post mate. Cheers for that.

  • Usman Khan on March 4, 2009, 8:59 GMT

    Thanks a lot man. In this time of crisis, well wishers like you are all Pakistan Cricket needs.

    Thank You Zaltzman, Thank You Cricinfo.

  • Shahid on March 4, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    Well written, we need the support of all the cricket boards. All that Pakistan was trying was to promote cricket, to have cricket alive in there country. We all live and die for the game and name of cricket. CA, ECB & ALL other cricket boards need to stand by PCB in this hour.

  • tony on March 4, 2009, 8:40 GMT

    I feel sorry for the present and budding pakistani cicketers. There future seems to be in dark by the act of their own countrymen. We came to know that certain group are branding cricket as 'unislamic'.Unless or until pakistan does not accept that they are themselves to be blamed for the present situation then i fear this country will become a headache to the entire region.Pakistan as a country is finished.

  • Rohit Naimpally on March 4, 2009, 8:18 GMT

    First off: big fan of The Bugle Andy. On Pakistani cricket: a real danger is that young cricketers in Pakistan may not decide to pursue the game further, given its moribund state in the country right now. As a result, neutral venues aplenty notwithstanding, one may witness a smaller cohort of talented Pakistani cricketers emerging from this period...I hope this doesn't come to pass, but it seems to be a very real danger.

  • saatwik on March 4, 2009, 7:41 GMT

    "a violent microminority." a perfect observation on what terrorists are. a bunch of hatred spewing detractors cannot be allowed to threaten a game that billions enjoy. I wish both the sri lankan players an pakistan cricket a speedy recovery.

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  • saatwik on March 4, 2009, 7:41 GMT

    "a violent microminority." a perfect observation on what terrorists are. a bunch of hatred spewing detractors cannot be allowed to threaten a game that billions enjoy. I wish both the sri lankan players an pakistan cricket a speedy recovery.

  • Rohit Naimpally on March 4, 2009, 8:18 GMT

    First off: big fan of The Bugle Andy. On Pakistani cricket: a real danger is that young cricketers in Pakistan may not decide to pursue the game further, given its moribund state in the country right now. As a result, neutral venues aplenty notwithstanding, one may witness a smaller cohort of talented Pakistani cricketers emerging from this period...I hope this doesn't come to pass, but it seems to be a very real danger.

  • tony on March 4, 2009, 8:40 GMT

    I feel sorry for the present and budding pakistani cicketers. There future seems to be in dark by the act of their own countrymen. We came to know that certain group are branding cricket as 'unislamic'.Unless or until pakistan does not accept that they are themselves to be blamed for the present situation then i fear this country will become a headache to the entire region.Pakistan as a country is finished.

  • Shahid on March 4, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    Well written, we need the support of all the cricket boards. All that Pakistan was trying was to promote cricket, to have cricket alive in there country. We all live and die for the game and name of cricket. CA, ECB & ALL other cricket boards need to stand by PCB in this hour.

  • Usman Khan on March 4, 2009, 8:59 GMT

    Thanks a lot man. In this time of crisis, well wishers like you are all Pakistan Cricket needs.

    Thank You Zaltzman, Thank You Cricinfo.

  • Zuhair on March 4, 2009, 9:14 GMT

    Great Post mate. Cheers for that.

  • Dr Najeeb on March 4, 2009, 9:26 GMT

    Well done zaltzman. We as a nation are going through this agony of violent acts being carried out repeatedly. For tony who mentioned cricket as being believed Unislamic, does not hold true at all, we deeply respect the game. Also, our countrymen are NOT Responsible for every act! We got lots of enemies, believe me!

  • asjad ali on March 4, 2009, 9:33 GMT

    we need pakistan cricket! What would world cricket have been like without the likes of wasim akram, waqar younis, saeed anwar, inzy etc etc... we cant let terror win, these evil people need to be caught!!

  • Agneesh on March 4, 2009, 9:37 GMT

    its sad for Pakistan cricket, but some-1 has to take the accountability and in my perspective the major culpril is SLC to force the players to tour pakistan in this current volatile circumstances and on top of it they were warned by Australian security experts too.

  • Jamal on March 4, 2009, 9:37 GMT

    i feel sorry for the pakistan and sri lanka cricket teams. they shouldnt have attacked the cricketers, i will sit and pray not for pakistan but for thier cricket team to rise agian and play agian. i hope the world cup stays there.