Fallout of the Lahore attack

Hair slams 'bullying' Lorgat

Cricinfo staff

March 9, 2009

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat's comments that umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis needed to be "more rational" in their assessment of the security at the time of the terrorist attack in Lahore has drawn a stinging attack from Darrell Hair, speaking in his capacity as head of the New South Wales Umpires and Scorers Association.

Lorgat, who was speaking shortly after arriving in Australia, was reacting to remarks from Taufel and Davis that they had been left high and dry when the attack started. He suggested that the pair needed time to reflect on things.

"I am mindful of the experience they have gone through and I think it is a difficult time for them," he said. "I guess if you or I had gone through something we might have reacted in a similar fashion and I think we must just understand the context and we must just allow them to settle down and be more rational in their assessment of what has transpired."

Speaking to AFP, Hair was clearly angry. "No one could possibly comprehend the frightening and life threatening nature of the predicament they found themselves in," he said. "For Lorgat to blandly ask them to be 'more rational' I think [smacks of] bullying and they are embarrassed that the full truth of the situation came out into the open.

"I wonder if Lorgat would be making his shallow and insincere comments if it had been he trapped in a hail of bullets and felt abandoned by the very security forces that were supposed to protect them?

"Does someone have to die before ICC even remotely begins to understand the reality of the matter? It's one thing to provide security and protection but another to actually be secure and protected. Quite simply, ICC and the PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] totally failed the Sri Lankan players and the umpires, full stop."

Lorgat later met with Taufel for a clear-the-air chat. "We talked about the broader picture and what the ICC could do to deal with the issues involved," Taufel told the Australian. "It's got implications for how the ICC operates in future.

"That was my main message to Haroon. We need to look at the lessons outside of that incident because what happened in Lahore is a symptom of how cricket is managed and operated. Pointing the finger at organisations or administrators is not helpful. I'd rather work with the administrators and do everything I can to help.

"I offered that to Haroon. If I can be in front of directors or chief executives and put a point of view, I'm happy to do that."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by PattyCakes002 on (March 11, 2009, 9:04 GMT)

Fact - The players and umpires were attacked Fact - Several security guards were shot and killed. Fact - The remaining security guards escorted the Sri Lankan tream away Fact - The umpires were lest unaccounted for.

Forgetting who was involved and where it was the men who were left behind (the umpires) have every right to question, ask and offer opinion on what they thought felt and .

That they thought they were not effectively protected needs to be investigate thoroughly and standards introduced on how to protect tesams in the future.

Those people who are trying to push a pro asian stance, protect their money or take a pro western stance need to be utterly ashamed of themselves.

Posted by popcorn on (March 10, 2009, 7:31 GMT)

Umpire Darrell Hair is absolutely right. Umpires are provided by ICC. They are ICC Employees. Therefore it is ICC's responsibility to INDEPENDENTLY assess the Security arrangement s for it employees. ICC SHOULD NOT RELY ON THE assessment of the playing countries.

Posted by bustercrabbe on (March 10, 2009, 6:22 GMT)

Perhaps the root of the problem lies outside cricket. Governments of counties like Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka don't do enough to stop terrorism, if they did incidents like this would not happen.

How can any of the teams (Eng/Aus/SA/NZ/WI, etc) be confident of their players' saftey for WC2011, how can ICC assure these teams that they will be safe. Perhaps ICC should make the decision to change the location of WC2011 now otherwise it might not happen.

Posted by Pateldaku on (March 9, 2009, 21:25 GMT)

Hair is definitely right.

This is the same ICC who wanted to hold the Champiopn's trophy last year. Only reason they pulled it was pressure from Eng/NZ/Aus/SA boards.

The security was not at all adequate. Considering 6 lives were it was a very close call.

If the security had been upto scratch this would not happen.

Cricket in Pakistan can be played, but with appropriate security. ICC earns enough Revenue to be able afford to provide security that is provided to Government Officials.

Posted by MrUmp on (March 9, 2009, 19:30 GMT)

What I find distressing about this is how very quickly it has dropped into racial lines. Maybe its something that we in the West need to understand - we sit behind large walls and large police forces and do not really understand the life of joe public in Asia and the threat of terrorism which is very real. What get's me about the comments made by Hair and Broad - whilst I understand the fear, they totally seem dismisive of the several gaurds who lost their lives. They seem to have been totally forgotten in this. Is this what we want our cricketers to be equated to - how many live's is a cricketer worth - maybe Hair and Broad need to calm down, become reflective and challenge the issues in a sensible and rational manner.

Those gaurds could have legged it but they were killed. I wonder how their loved ones feel when they read that they left those now in safe heavens "high and dry"

Posted by Nige_C on (March 9, 2009, 18:05 GMT)

The response of the PCB officials and some of the postings has been revealing as the attack itself. It seems to show a lack of respect for the lives of the officials and to hold the good name and reputation of Pakistan as sacrosanct. Almost if you dare to say anything negative about the situation that you are anti Pakistani. It makes the umpires out to be the bad guys. How utterly ridiculous! These people were the victims and could have died! What are the chances of that bullet hitting Tharanga in the chest and not penetrating! One shudders to think of the consequences of Sangakkara taking a mere second longer to move his head. The officals are not the bad guys here! Why are they being attacked! Anyone attacking the umpires might as well be taking the side of the terrorists! It seems that the people of Pakistan have great pride in their country, which is great. Take that pride and determine to fix the problem, not become offended and therefore end up glossing over it.

Posted by B.randy on (March 9, 2009, 17:38 GMT)

cricpolitics comment that Darrel Hair's comments are biased, itself smacks of bias!! While I am no fan of Hair's the comments I am inclined to say "Hair or no Hair the comments made are fair". I cant imagine anyone for that matter criticizing the comments made by Simon Taufel and Steve Davis. As they aptly said and from the TV visuals they were sitting ducks and how can anyone find fault with them. While we appreciate Pakistan and India standing by Sri Lanka during the 1996 we must have the integrity to honestly say that the security was indeed lacking so that a repetition, in whatever part of the world, may be prevented.

Posted by ahassan on (March 9, 2009, 17:32 GMT)

It sure is the right of Simon Taufel and other umpires to tell their version of the events in Lahore but it is also true that their judgement can be faulty due to the mental tension they are in at the moment. Somebody wrote that Haroon Logat should not make any comments because he was not there but in the same breath he favours Mr 'controversial' Hair. I THINK HE ALSO WAS NOT THERE. Six security policemen lost there lives that day and umpires' van was also driven to safety by a police officer after the death of the driver. To say that there was no security is a wrong statement. I agree that there was a flaw in the security arrangement made for the Sri Lankan team and now instead of 'Pakistan bashing' everybody should use this energy to make sure tht it does not happen anywhere in future. Akhtar Hassan

Posted by multipack on (March 9, 2009, 16:12 GMT)

Whilst I agree that Taufel and Davis have the right to tell their version of events it is rather unfortunate that Hair is their champion. After his history with asian teams his criticism of the PCB and Lorgat smacks of oportunism.

BapiDas, I would appreciate a link to this footage you speak of. I have seen no mention of it anywhere else.

Posted by Azfar on (March 9, 2009, 15:57 GMT)

As someone has also commented, Mr Lorgat should get a few clauses added to the ICC code of conduct on how a player/official should behave after being shot at - something like - you cannot talk to the press within 72 hours of being shot at, or you can talk about the incident after taking prior approval from the ICC etc etc.

Is Haroon Lorgat right ... or does Darrell Hair have a point?
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