Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2008-09 / News

Shootout in Lahore

'What I'm feeling most is disbelief'

March 3, 2009

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Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lanka coach, who was in the team bus when the attack took place, spoke to Cricinfo while waiting to be airlifted out of Pakistan. This is the transcript of his interview.


Trevor Bayliss: "I was on the floor thinking, 'there's nothing I can really do about it.'" © PA photos
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It all happened very quickly. We were on the bus, there were a couple of explosions and then the pop-pop-pop of the guns and broken glass. Everyone hit the floor straight away. I'm not sure how long it went on for - maybe half a minute. The boys were yelling to the driver to keep driving, because we had come to a stop only about 100m from the entrance to the ground. Luckily the driver hadn't been hit, and he got us beyond the cars and into the ground. We then ran to the relative safety of the dressing room.

I didn't see much, but the guys at the front of the bus said they saw cars in front of us stop, then back-up. People then jumped out and started shooting. It's strange now watching it on the television. They're saying that we were being shot at from three or four different directions. It's a bit surreal.

To be honest, everyone on the bus was pretty calm. I was on the floor thinking, 'there's nothing I can really do about it.' Six or seven of the players were hit, some more seriously than others, but thankfully nothing is life threatening.

(Samaraweera) is probably the worst of the lot. Our new opening batsman, (Tharanga) Paranavitana, gave us a fright. There was blood all over his chest after he was hit by a bullet or piece of shrapnel from the side. There was a fair bit of blood in the dressing room. But I'm looking at him now and he seems OK, joking around as if nothing has happened.

They took them both to hospital, and they arrived back with us a couple of hours ago. They've got (Samaraweera) pretty drugged up at the moment, but they expect that he'll be ok, just a bit sore for a while. The early reports are that he should be able to play again, but we'll just have to wait and see how bad the damage is and he recovers.

I was one of the seven or eight who didn't get hit by any of the shrapnel.

We're still in Pakistan sitting in an airforce base. We were flown out of the ground in big helicopters, and now we're waiting for an aeroplane sent by the Sri Lankan president to pick us up. It should be arriving in three hours or so.

I think what I'm feeling most at the moment is disbelief that it happened. The guys are in pretty good spirits, and I think a lot of the reason for that is that they're alive and in a relatively safe place now. I haven't really thought about my future in the job. As it stands, I'd be pretty happy to continue with it, so long as we didn't have to come back here in the near future.

As told to Alex Brown

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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News | Features Last 3 days