Shootout in Lahore March 4, 2009

Security 'left us to be sitting ducks' claims Broad

Cricinfo staff

Chris Broad: 'We were promised high level security and in our hour of need that security vanished. There was not a sign of a policeman anywhere' © PA Photos

Chris Broad landed back in Manchester and launched a stinging attack on the security in Lahore at the time of yesterday's attack which left eight people dead, while expressing his concern that the incident sounds a 'death knell' for cricket in Pakistan.

Broad, who was the ICC's match referee for the Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the city, accused the Pakistani authorities of leaving match officials as "sitting ducks" and claiming that players and officials arriving for the Test were not offered sufficient protection despite assurances given by the Pakistan board.

"I'm angry with the Pakistani security forces," Broad said. "We were promised high level security and in our hour of need that security vanished. There was not a sign of a policeman anywhere. They had clearly gone, left the scene and left us to be sitting ducks. I had an inkling before the Test match leg of the tour that something might happen. I certainly didn't think this was going to happen."

Broad's claims that he had flagged concerns about the security before the start of the series will raise issues. "I raised my concerns with the ICC before the tour started and they passed on those concerns to the Pakistan board. They assured me through e-mail that all security would be taken care of, presidential-style security. And clearly that didn't happen.

"When we were in the van we weren't aware of what was going on outside. But after the incident when you watch the TV pictures you can clearly see the white van we were in, next to the ambulance in the middle of a roundabout, with terrorists shooting into our van and past our van and not a sign of a policeman anywhere."

Broad has been praised for throwing himself on top of fellow official Ahsan Raza as the vehicle they were travelling in came under fire. "I am not a hero," he said. "Most of us were just waiting for a bullet to hit us."

Raza was shot in the back during the attack and rushed to Lahore's Service hospital for surgery on a collapsed right lung and a damaged liver. Hospital staff said the operation was successful.Raza's family members have said he is recovering fast and is likely to be released from the intensive care unit in the next two to three days.

Broad went on to say that some of the security forces fled when the shooting started. "At some stage … someone opened the door of the van and an elite policeman threw himself inside and lay on top of me. That wasn't particularly brave. When the shooting stopped, I shouted at him to drive us away but he said: 'I don't drive.'"

For all Broad's anger at the security concerns, he was just as dismayed at the impact that the attack could have on the future of cricket in the country. "They have a lot of very talented cricketers, and I feel sorry for the cricketers and for the cricket-mad public of Pakistan," he said. "But this is a bit of a death knell for cricket in Pakistan and I feel sorry for those people. I can't see it going on for the foreseeable future.

"Ijaz Butt, the chairman [of the PCB] has come out and said that friends will come to Pakistan but I don't think they have any friends in world cricket that will go to Pakistan after this has happened. Sri Lanka were a friendly country - they wanted to go, they wanted to support Pakistan. I don't think they will be going back and certainly India, Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa won't be keen."

Broad said the ICC would, in future, possibly have to take more direct responsibility for security arrangements rather than leaving matters to individual boards. "There are countries who have their own security experts," he said. "I know England have Reg Dickason from Australia. Dickason didn't think Pakistan was safe for anyone to go to. He was amazed the Sri Lanka tour went ahead. But he's not advising Sri Lanka.

"Maybe there's something for the ICC to look at - that they themselves take the safety concerns into consideration and make the decisions."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on March 9, 2009, 5:23 GMT

    To all those people who say that "it could happen in any country", I ask this: how many terrorist attacks have happened in Australia in the past 10 years and how many in Pakistan? I realise that people are getting a bit jaded with terrorism, but come on.

    And to all the Pakistani denialists on here, Broad was talking about security in a general sense. I'm sure he was very pleased that the meagre security that was provided fought and died to save him and others, but where was the Presidential-style security? How could 12 terrorists take down so many police and not lose one life themselves? I'll tell you. The police were either outnumbered or underprepared. I don't care how much security you say was provided at other times during the tour, at that moment it was clearly insufficient.

    I hope Australia and other countries do get to one day return to Pakistan, but only when this mess is cleared up for good and not 6-9 months like Butt has ridiculously suggested.

  • Attila on March 5, 2009, 22:41 GMT

    You can watch the video footage, the van with Chris Broad and fellow umpires was isolated and exposed at the roundabout, with a number of gun wielding terrorists running around with no sign of any security people. They left with the Sri Lankan bus. Except for 2 policemen, one of whom was hiding behind a bush, and another lying next to the van, feigning dead.

    It is plain to see from the clear footage, Chris Broad`s statements are correct.

  • Raja on March 5, 2009, 12:26 GMT

    Without sounding cynical can I understand why it was brave of Broad to drop down to the floor to cover the injured Pakistani umpire ? The entire Sri Lankan team did that, and I was curious as to why Broad's action stood apart for special mention or praise. The umpire was already badly hurt when Broad lay down on him so it could not be that Broad took bullets on his behalf. Please do not get me wrong - it was a horrible situation where people could not be expected to keep calm, and surely there was a massive breach in security. But what I do not get is why Broad is being extolled for jumping down to the floor when that is the usual reaction, and when the entire Sri Lankan team, some of whom got badly injured, did so. As for the rest of his comments, I am sure anyone who had such an ordeal would feel that there was a lack of security, but as 26/11, 7/7, 9/11 have shown, in such times, everything seems to go haywire

  • m on March 5, 2009, 10:28 GMT

    The reason why Broad is angry and says not particularly intelligent about the security guard throwing himself on top of him is because SECURITY GUARDS/POLICEMEN have weapons they can use to SHOOT OR ATLEAST THREATEN TO FIRE while Broad is a civilian and he may have had weapons training which is immaterial here because he is not the SECURITY GUARD and he himself claims he is not a hero for throwing himself on top of an injured official. It is cricinfo who should be blamed that people have posted such nasty comments on the pretext that the officials and players are alive and asking others to stop moaning. The comments should be monitered by cricinfo. Thilan Samaraveera might never ever be able to play in the same way before a bullet was fired on his leg. And it is the same for other players as well. SECURITYMEN SHOULD SECURE AND THEY FAILED TO DO SO IS THE POINT.

  • biju on March 5, 2009, 8:06 GMT

    Broad has the right to express himself and he was one of the victims.I read some of the comments for the Pakistanies and it seems to be not a good sign.They were trying to defend their so called security who utterly failed to deal with the situation.Those who survived just because of their presence of mind not because of the police men.It is surprising that none of the terrorists has any death or injury and none of them were caputered.This shows their public support.It would have been better if they realise their mistakes rather than defending them.You can never rectify a mistake if you don't admit that.

  • shuvo on March 5, 2009, 7:08 GMT

    Many of the comments below reek of callous posturing or dimwitted mudslinging, as in case of chocbear_SL and da_phenom respectively. They fail to come to terms with the fact and thereby indicate that nowhere is human existence as derided as in Pakistan at this moment. Whether Broad is an official of calibre is irrelevant; the fact that the entourage was afforded such meagre and inferior security and that the match officials were left high and dry at the scene of terror is disgusting to say the least. Pakistan perennially dwells in a denial-mode, but it sinks to a new, hideous low when some posters below try to pat themselves in the back for nobody, of note, died in the incident. The gallantry of the policemen is noted, but what were they doing in an "elite security unit"? Why would people related to cricket have to go through such ghastly ordeals? Those who are slamming Broad probably smelt death only from as far as their TV screens, which adds beastly nonchalance to their denial.

  • Peeush on March 5, 2009, 6:14 GMT

    It surprises me how a president level security is breached by 12 people. And after breaching none of them are killed and they go away leaving their arms and ammunitions. The terrorists went on foot as shown in pakistani national tv footage.... Is this the definition of presidential security !!

  • Abbas on March 5, 2009, 4:08 GMT

    Broad and other umpires are right, its a miracle that they are alive. A very important aspect which no one is mentioning is about a white car which collided with players bus, even before gun fire began. In my view, this was most important security lapse, what if that car had explosives?. Terrorists could have succeeded then and there, which perhaps was not their goal. Not only there was no adequate security around player's convoy to stop suicide bomber, there was no plan to engage attackers and absolutely no back up. On the contrary terrorists had everything in place, which is even more shamefull. Where was intellegence, a dozen or more lads came with their guns and explosives, ambushed at a very busy place and no one saw them? Off-course few police offficers who were around, did a great job and sacrificed their lives and foiled terrorists real purpose which was (perhaps) to hijack player's bus. Except those few brave ones, everyone else failed.

  • Mohamed on March 5, 2009, 3:15 GMT

    chocbearSL - Who were in the line of fire you or Broad? They were promised presidential security. Did they get that?

  • Richard on March 5, 2009, 2:09 GMT

    I take back at least some of my previous criticism of Broad's comments. I was unaware that the umpire's van was abandoned by security at the roundabout. At the very least, the lack of communicaiton should raise some werious concerns.

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