Fallout of the Lahore attack

PCB did not want Lahore to host Sri Lanka Test

Cricinfo staff

December 22, 2009

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Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, fields a press conference in Karachi, November 28, 2008
Ijaz Butt: "A top government official rejected our suggestion and said the Test would be held in Lahore" © AFP
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More than nine months after the fateful terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, Ijaz Butt, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, has said the board had wanted to host that Test in Karachi instead. Butt said he had requested the Pakistan government to shift the game to Karachi because of concerns over the security situation in the province of Punjab, where Lahore is located.

Karachi had hosted the first Test of that series which was drawn. The Sri Lankans were making their way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for the third day's play on March 3 when terrorists opened fire on the team bus, injuring five players and their assistant coach Paul Farbrace. The tour was immediately cancelled and the repercussions were enormous as Pakistan was stripped of its share of matches for the 2011 World Cup. Teams have since refused to tour Pakistan.

"A top government official rejected our suggestion and said the Test would be held in Lahore," Butt told a television channel. "The implementation of the security arrangements for the visiting team was also that of the government, the board could do nothing about it."

He added that the Lahore High Court had identified the people responsible for the lax security arrangements in its inquiry report. "I can't name anyone but the inquiry report is there for everyone to see," Butt said.

Shortly after the attacks, Butt had said the security arrangements was the government's responsibility and not the PCB's and that the level of security for the Sri Lankans was the same provided to all visiting teams. He had reacted angrily to match referee Chris Broad's claims that the security cover was insufficient despite assurances from the PCB. He had said Broad's reaction was "obnoxious", and that a commando was actually responsible for saving Broad's life.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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