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One year after the Lahore attack

Cricket cannot relax regarding security - Chris Broad

Richard Sydenham

March 3, 2010

Comments: 39 | Text size: A | A

Security guards crowd round the Sri Lankan team's bullet-ridden bus, Lahore, March 3, 2009
Chris Broad on the Lahore attack: "It will be cricket's 9/11" © Getty Images

A year on from cricket's most shocking and deadly event, match-referee Chris Broad, who survived the harrowing Lahore terror attack, said the sport's hierarchies cannot afford to become complacent regarding security. If they slack in their efforts, Broad fears the terrorists will return.

Broad, 52, was caught in the now infamous terrorist ambush on March 3 last year, when the match officials' bus and that of the Sri Lanka team, en route from their hotel to the Gaddafi Stadium was shot at by masked gunmen. The driver of Broad's vehicle was killed and reserve umpire Ahsan Raza took a bullet, but has now recovered. Several Sri Lanka players were injured in the attack. Broad later said that the passengers in his bus were left "like sitting ducks" and he felt let down by security that had been assured them.

"The third of the third '09 will be with me until I die," Broad told Cricinfo. "It was an unhappy day, not only for me but for the rest of the playing control team over there and the Sri Lankan team. It will be cricket's 9/11. It was a sad day for us and for Pakistan as a country because they wouldn't have wanted anything to happen to foreigners but that's the problem they have at the moment."

While Pakistan are now forced to play their home matches overseas because of that attack and frequent bombings throughout the country, the rest of the cricket world is also now more vigilant than ever to possible attacks.

This month's IPL is set to go ahead in India, after organisers opted to take the event to South Africa last season because of lack of adequate security due to a clash with the country's general elections. This third season, though, has not been without player security fears.

"I'm encouraged by the way that the boards I have dealt with (since) have acted regarding security," Broad said. "I was in India in October-November and they had certainly changed their attitudes regarding security not only for players but for officials also. The concern is that we don't want those attitudes to relax as that is the time when the terrorists would strike.

"Hopefully the boards will continue to improve what we have in place now and ensure that all people involved in international cricket are safe and secure. I say that only because I don't want the terrorists to beat us."

Broad does not know if he would ever return to Pakistan and said he would need to have all the facts regarding security, if international cricket were to return there in his time as a match official. He does, though, have sympathy for the country's plight and that of the cricket board. Ironically, having visited Pakistan as player and official, the ill-fated visit was his most enjoyable one until the attack.

"I have been to Pakistan four or five times and it was one of the most enjoyable tours I've ever had there. The organisation had been very good and socially it was very acceptable as there were more restaurants opening up, the cleanliness within the country was improving. It was a very enjoyable time and it's just terrible that was soured by what happened.

"It's going to be difficult to overcome because terrorism in the world seems to have a foothold. But we have to support the Pakistan people and cricketers as much as we can, though unfortunately, at this moment in time, it's difficult to take [international] cricket back to that country. It's something that is very sad but very true.

"The main issue is they have got to sort out these bombings and terror attacks within their own country. I know it is not the Pakistan Cricket Board's responsibility but it is something that needs to be done and the wider community has to help as much as it can. Otherwise it would be extremely sad to see cricket die in that country."

So, on the anniversary of the attack, does Broad still have nightmares? He revealed in an interview last year that he suffered flashbacks in a cinema on hearing gunshots in a movie.

"Time is a great healer, I don't think about it too often these days but the memories are always going to be with me. The memories are still extremely vivid and they are memories I wish I had never had.

"Cricket has not only changed dramatically since I was an England player [in the 1980s], so much has changed in terms of security just in the seven years I have worked for the ICC. It's a different world to when I was a player."


Comments: 39 
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Posted by Nirad on (March 4, 2010, 12:52 GMT)

@shahidmahmood What do u mean by saying that india r tryin to destroy cric in pakistan,This shows your ignorance it is india vs pak matches that generate most income in both the countries and in fact v all love following pakistan cricket and many indians here love pak players playing , bcoz they r interesting..and by the way wat profit does bcci get by making pak cricket die..such rubbish comments shouldnt even be posted...... infact if u ask any foreign player whether he wil play in pak they would say no bcoz of security conditions... not bcoz BCCI TOLD HIM TO SAY THAT. Please understand that and wat do u mean by hiding the truth??????? if truth is hidden how come u say that u know it???????? WHAT U R SAYING IS UTTER SPECULATION AND TRYING TO MAKE IT APPEAR AS A TRUTH

Posted by Nirad on (March 4, 2010, 12:09 GMT)

@aztecs What nonsense are u talking on this blog this is a cricketing website so just limit your comments to it, y do u talk abt your politicians ineffeciency and blahblahblah.....and y do u blame India for eveything and y are u concerned abt security in India if anyone had any doubts abt security in INDIA no one would come here so that they can pocket a few more bucks, the players from nations like England,Aussies , S.A and Sri lanka(They are the ones touring india mostly) are rich enough not to risk their lives for money and infact security conditions are much ,much better than in pakisthan for sure ....So ppl come on there is no point in saying that INDIA is paying more or bribing them.

Posted by Shahid on (March 4, 2010, 12:04 GMT)

mkul822, youre talking rubish! india are doing what ever it takes to destroy pakistani cricket and it is a well known fact. who ever does not admit it is hiding the truth from public PERIOD.

Posted by mukesh on (March 3, 2010, 22:10 GMT)

Either this should be prank or some kind of a child joke that india is behind attacks on srilankan team in pak and stopping all progress for pak. First of all I am an indian and luv cricket like crazy like any other fans here.BCCI is definetly a big head in making decisions in ICC. But that doesn't mean BCCI didnot encourage pak cricket. REMEMBER BCCI when it intiated so many unrelated series at the time when india was at war front with Pak. BCCI does this solely for PCB and BCCIs fan base and even after so many useless series with PAK so that PCB can gain some revenue PCB always points at BCCI who for there part done nothing for PCB cricket but expect favours from BCCI and ICCI. Likes of current PCB admin have created bad taste w.r.t world cricket they just want to get compensated for games they don't host in WC but don't want to create oppurtunities. Only sympathy i have is for Pak players who were left out of IPL by "clubs" in captalistic world its common but bad for cricket!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 3, 2010, 21:36 GMT)

My dear friend, getting a hoax call and having a terrorist attack the van your in are two different things. FYI : The ICC has not BANNED cricket matches in pakistan, no team wants to tour pakistan.

Posted by Jeremy on (March 3, 2010, 21:35 GMT)

Here we go again. Just like every article out there and every youtube video. If its something to do with India or Pakistan the idiots come out to bash the other country. First of all some facts. We should not compare security between the two countries because both countries are a joke in terms of security. Take a look at the police in the developed nations and look at our south asian police. I bet you in India, Pakistan, or any South Asian nation for that matter, any terrorist can pay off a policeman so that they can carry out their attacks. So stop bashing each others' countries and try to do something about getting rid of corruption all across south asia. Once corruption goes believe me, we will see a much more fit and trust worthy police force across south asia. Then all of our conflicts will be solved and people will actually trust the authorities and not have to constantly fend for themselves.

Posted by ish on (March 3, 2010, 21:21 GMT)

Cont..We are proud of our nation and always will be. Yes, we are going through a tough time and we will learn and will put it right... we will always aspire to be the best or try our hardest to do our best and we dont need people like Chris Broad to re assure us or the world on how great our country is or isnt, we know it is. Our ill elected politicians and administration have tainted our wonderful hard fought country costing almost 800,000 lives is injustice to all those people. Its time that Pakistanis realized who we really are and stopped entertaining the ill minded who will always kick the ladder of opportunity and expose our weaknesses but will always fail to acknowledge their own. Its time we stopped being soft targets and stop peering over the fence to see what our neighbors are upto and really work on our own infrastructure to get our country back on its track. Leave our neighbors to do the spying and let them indulge in their own envy, we dont care. Its time to get back up!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 3, 2010, 20:57 GMT)

@Fabian i totaly agree vth u my dear....n plz dnt missunderstand my opinion i jus wanted to say dat v shud all get 2gather n stand firm n front of dese terrorists......v shud all b united n dnt let dem to be successful in dere aims.......plz plz plz dnt c dis issue n make it an issue between India n Pakistan v shud both respect each other's feelings towards our countries.........n i fyk evry single person in dis planet knws dat Terrosrsm is nt gud for any country............. r any person... so dnt blame India r Pakistan.......jus move ahead........MAy ALLAh show us da rite path..............

Posted by Cricinfouser on (March 3, 2010, 20:27 GMT)

Fabian julian shut the hell up we were never one we will never be one pakistan zindabad

Posted by Syed on (March 3, 2010, 19:31 GMT)

Fabian, with all due respect to your beliefs, we are both not one nation. We are two separate nations. Those who believe in the unity of the two nations ignore the fact that in that case one nation will have to be subservient to the other. India is just relishing the fact that for the first time they are one up on Pakistan.

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