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.

Posted by Stripe on (March 9, 2009, 15:26 GMT)

Hair calls them as he sees them .. the ICC has too many conflicts of interests that it has a long history of bowing to.

Posted by cricpolitics on (March 9, 2009, 14:50 GMT)

The two umpires have a right to say whatever they feel like since they were one of the victims of the attacks but any comments from Hair will be highly Biased based on his controversial past in regards to ICC and PCB. It's a shame that he is using this sad incident to settle some personal grudges. Don't forget the Sri Lankans were the targets and few of them got injured as well but I have a great respect for these players who still had a very positive attitude and were very thankful to the courage of the bus driver whose presence of mind got them escapted from the scene and don't forget the five security guards who laid their lives to enable the bus driver to escape from the scene as well. This is where Simon and Chris Broad are not fully justified since they have failed to mention all that. They did not have any words for their van driver who got killed and the other police officers. Don't be too selfish and show some sympothy for the agrieved families as well.

Posted by king1985 on (March 9, 2009, 13:28 GMT)

I respect Simon Taufel, but i am not going to believe him word for word, mainly because he was "traumatized" and was not in the most mentally relaxed condition at the time he spoke. I agree with Lorgat that they should have at least had a regard for those 6 poor policemen who died and that man who drove them out of danger. I think its important to give credit to those who laid lives in safeguarding Broad and Simon.

Posted by robheinen on (March 9, 2009, 13:24 GMT)

Maybe Haroon can draw up a procedure which prescribes how to react for players & officials who have just been shot at....by the way, don't forget to mention the sanction for those who transgress.

Posted by OliverChettle on (March 9, 2009, 13:20 GMT)

This was a terrorist attack on cricketers, and the first. The rate of terrorist attacks in Pakistan is orders of a magnitude or two higher than in the other countries. There has only been one fatal terrorist attack in England in recent years, and it was largely organised and planned in Pakistan. Anyway, no-one is talking of "banning" international cricket in Pakistan, teams just won't come until they feel safe.

Posted by Howzzat07 on (March 9, 2009, 13:12 GMT)

It is reprehensible for Haroon Lorgat to try and pass judgment on what happened in Pakistan because HE WASN'T THERE. Mr. Hair is dead-on in this case. Bravo to him for speaking out knowing full well every fan of a sub-continent team will seek his head because of some questionable calls he made in the past. I'm of sub-continent descent and I don't agree with Mr. Hair's calls, but I do respect his policy of calling it like it is.

Posted by 200ondebut on (March 9, 2009, 12:43 GMT)

I am appalled by the comments made by Haroon Logat - how can he say this publicly after what his employees have gone through. This, though, is symptomatic of the politics that is ruling cricket.

Posted by Tumbarumbar on (March 9, 2009, 12:30 GMT)

What seems to have been missed by Haroon Lorgat and others is that good and brave men died in this tragedy. To the men who died - I praise you as heros and grieve for your families, may your God greet you with peace.

Posted by noiseBOMB on (March 9, 2009, 12:25 GMT)

Does anyone here take policemen as human beings too? They have lives too you know? What more can you ask from a policeman who lays on top of you to cover you from getting shot and may himself get shot consequently.

I know security wasn't top notch and foolproof but for what was there I'd say they did a pretty damn good job protecting all the players and officials from TWELVE fully armed gunmen who seemed pretty accurate with their aims!

Posted by Vkarthik on (March 9, 2009, 12:22 GMT)

Haroon should realize traumatized victims have the right to speak their mind. After a near death experience what do you expect them to do.

Posted by skippius on (March 9, 2009, 12:03 GMT)

Who cares about who said what? The bottom line is that Pakistan is not going to be hosting international matches for quite some time. And if only that this would be Pakistan's biggest headache. I'm hearing more and more disturbing news, almost on a daily basis now, of an imminent Taliban takeover in Pakistan. I think that that sort of news would put the cricket back onto the back pages where it should always be.

Posted by pull2open on (March 9, 2009, 11:50 GMT)

Darrell Hair wonders whether someone has to die before the ICC will understand. Unfortunately the ICC will clearly not understand even then: people did die. They might not have been cricketers involved in the match, but in what way does that matter?

Posted by FreeVoice on (March 9, 2009, 10:52 GMT)

Its been very regretful last week. But All of a sudden why people talk about banning international cricket in Pakistan. We have all seen bombing and terrorist activities have been going on in other countries, England and India for example. But no body raise questions of banning cricket before, what if this could have happen somewhere else? People always try to pin point the weak.

All the information available gave impression that security agencies have failed to do their job but we should not forget that worse could have happen if the heroic efforts have not been made to save as many cricketers and officials as possible.

Mr. Hair I just say, he got a chance to speak out against the PCB and ICC, old wounds.

Posted by Subra on (March 9, 2009, 10:34 GMT)

I am not a fan of the Big Bully Hair - but in this instance he has a valid point.

Siva fron Singapore

Posted by BapiDas on (March 9, 2009, 10:22 GMT)

It is simply astounding! ICC and PCB officials are clearly burying their heads in the sand and wishing that things will get better! How? CCTV footage telecast soon after the incident clearly showed that the terrorists could walk away without being challenged! Darrell Hair and every sensible person would say the same thing. There is no denying the fact that the security arrangements at that point of time were totally ineffective and inadequate. No matter how one tries to 'tone down' the comments of the persons who were there on the scene, these fact can not be denied. It is an altogether different mater though when one asks what could have been done to prevent the incident? Could a deteremined effort by terrorists be effectively foiled? This is the doubt that will be paramount in the minds of all involved. I seriously doubt if similar attacks could be completely ruled out in India, Sri Lanka or any other country. International cricket and possibly other sports are facing serious threat.

Posted by RehanJ on (March 9, 2009, 10:20 GMT)

Hi every one,

Just to inform that Biased umpire and other people, a new video has been released by Punjab Govt. which shows that Policemen covered the officials van and died protecting it. What else remains ???

I have no problem with comments of Simon Taufel, Steve Davis and Chris Broad. they were there and you cannot blame them because it is not an easy experience to be very honest. But Hair comments are not worthy for me as He is biased against not only Pakistan, but Sri Lanka and India as well.

Hair has a long history with subcontinent teams so it is understandable. Secondly what has happened has happened, now we look how to avoid such situation. this is not an easy thing and I think needs to evaluated carefully. I think all the baords with ICC needs to decide how they would deal with such issues. Discussion would give some thing good

You need all the facts before commenting on such things. Every body should see the new video before commenting on such sensitive issues.


Posted by SrinR on (March 9, 2009, 9:48 GMT)

Even though I myself am from the subcontinent, I completely agree with Darrell Hair this time. The umpires Simon Taufel, Steve Davis and Chris Broad were actually in that situation and experienced it, so no one has any right to discredit their reactions. Plus, there is no ambiguity or equivalency about the facts of what happened (which they recounted) - these cannot be denied. Based on these facts itself, it is clear that there was a complete failure of security. And I think that no individual who has gone through such a horrible experience should have to tone down his reaction just so as not to hurt someone else's pride and to ask or expect them to do so is immoral and unethical.

Posted by Sajid_4_au on (March 9, 2009, 9:48 GMT)

Darrell Hair is totaly wrong. He does not need to talk about these matters. He is a simply an Umpire and has to concentrate on his job. He is simply a big discriminator. He does not know how to do Umpiring and bullying now at the incident.

Posted by cuso_nz on (March 9, 2009, 9:45 GMT)

I find it difficult to understand why the adminstrators of the ICC and PCB are saying that the victims of the attacks are acting irrationally and seeming to accuse 3 of the people who witnessed the attack of exaggerating. How can they make such claims when they were not present at the time that the attack happened? I understand that Pakistani security forces lost their lives trying to protect the Sri Lankan Team and the officials, and mean no disrespect to them or their families, but I think what is extremely clear at this point was that there was massive failings at some point which allowed this tragedy to occur. Perhaps the ICC and PCB should take the officials statements and work to ensure that such failings never occur again instead of taking this seemingly condescending approach which appears to be telling the victims that they did not experience what they did.

Just my view on this topic.

Posted by timedout on (March 9, 2009, 9:36 GMT)

Hair is quite right. Speaking as someone who was very sympathetic to Pakistan over recent problems, I'm disgusted with the PCB. They just make knee-jerk reactions based on some arcane and misplaced sense of "honour", instead of facing up to the reality of things as they are.

Posted by imadriaz on (March 9, 2009, 9:35 GMT)

As a Pakistani Canadian, I cant say I'm not biased against Mr. Hair, who has inherently shown his bias against non-white cricketers. However, Mr. Hair has a very valid point and he is absolutely right in slamming the ICC for not holding PCB and the Pakistani government accountable for lack of security and for leaving the umpires stranded in the middle of the road for an extended period of time. Assurances were given that clearly were not kept, and the resulting fallout is and should not be acceptable.

Having said that, the world, including Mr. Hair, should also recognize that it makes no sense for Broad to be jumping on top of Ahsan Raza to protect him and not getting shot himself, yet Ahsan gets a bullet in his back. And quite ungracious of both Broad and Taufel to say that the policeman that came in and threw himself on both of them was only trying to protect himself. Not quite the heroes both of them are making themselves out to be.

Posted by Clickinfo on (March 9, 2009, 9:34 GMT)

If Lorgat is so concerned about the mental wellbeing of the officials, why did it allow them to be paraded in front of the media as soon as they arrived back from Pakistan? Broad admitted he hadn't slept since or seen his family. Surely any organisation that was remotely professional would have let them settle down and get a night's sleep before letting them face a barrage of questions?

Posted by kharkov on (March 9, 2009, 9:26 GMT)

ICC take some responsibility,dont get off with problem like this

Is Haroon Lorgat right ... or does Darrell Hair have a point?
Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
ESPNcricinfo staffClose
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days