Fallout of the Lahore attack March 4, 2009

Kill cricket, create terrorists, warns Younis

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Younis Khan has warned that, without cricket, extremism in Pakistan will grow © AFP
 

Younis Khan has appealed to cricket's administrators to save the game in Pakistan, or risk pushing future generations into the clutches of terrorists. The Pakistan captain fears that an extended boycott by touring teams could lead to a dramatic decline in interest and participation in cricket among the nation's youth. That, in turn, could invite corrupting influences to fill the void that might otherwise have been occupied by sport, Younis argued.

"Our future as a nation is in our youngsters' hands," Younis told Cricinfo. "Sport helps to make good human beings. If the sport is not there, the children can do silly things. We have to be very careful about that. Nobody wants to see children going down a bad path and finding themselves involved with bombs and things like that. We all must do something to stop that happening.

"Maybe in the future we will be alone [as a cricketing nation] and that would be very sad, especially for the youngsters. When I was a boy, I loved watching Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram playing against great teams from overseas. It is because of them - seeing them play - that I also played the game. But what if no one comes to Pakistan? How will the youngsters know about the game? What will they do?

"I appeal for all the bosses and the ICC not let cricket die here. They must think about all the factors, including what will become of the youngsters of Pakistan. It would be very easy right now for the ICC and the bosses to say there will be no cricket in Pakistan. But the future will not be good if cricket is taken away from my country."

Younis, and his entire team, remain shocked and saddened at the attack on the Sri Lankan team and ICC officials in the shadows of the Gaddafi Stadium. He was just six days removed from completing a career-best innings of 313 - the third-highest total recorded by a Pakistani batsman in the team's 57-year history - and had been buoyant at the prospect of again locking horns with Sri Lanka on a more sporting Lahore pitch.

But in 30 terrifying minutes on Tuesday, everything changed. The attack on the Sri Lankan and ICC buses, which left eight security and transportation personnel dead, will almost certainly ensure a blanket boycott by touring teams for the foreseeable future, and force the Pakistani team into a nomadic existence.

 
 
Our future as a nation is in our youngsters' hands. Sport helps to make good human beings. If the sport is not there, the children can do silly things - Younis Khan issues a warning about Pakistan's future
 

Younis expressed concern that, should Pakistan be denied the opportunity of hosting matches in the long-term, players could abandon the national team in search of career opportunities in Indian Twenty20 leagues or county cricket.

"I have seen a lot in my career," he said. "At the last World Cup, Bob Woolmer died and that was a terrible thing. Then, just after I had been made the captain, we have this shocking attack. This is a very bad time in Pakistan. It feels that every day we go backwards, not forwards. We have not experienced anything like this before.

"If something is not done quickly, maybe everyone goes to the IPL, ICL or county cricket. I hope that does not happen. It is up to the ICC and the bosses from around the world to make sure that cricket is not lost in Pakistan because of a couple of mad people. It is not the sportsmen's fault.

"I met with the Sri Lankan team before they flew home and had dinner with them. They were very sad about what was happening to cricket. Cricket is suffering. Sport is one of the only things that brings countries closer and now, because of a few idiots - people who use guns and bombs are not human - no one might come here and we could be all alone."

Younis pledged his loyalty to the Pakistan team for the entirety of his career, but admitted to sadness at the prospect of leading his country in neutral venues - possibly England, which has emerged as a potential host on account of a large ex-pat Pakistani community.

"I will stand by this team," he said. "I love my team and my nation. I have played the last ten years for Pakistan, and I probably have another three or four to go. I want to give those years to the Pakistan team.

"I would love to play Australia in Pakistan, but that is difficult. It will be a new experience for me as captain leading my team in a home game against Australia in England. I will look at it two ways - I will be sad because my home series is in England, but also excited to play on the good pitches of England against a very good Australian team.

"The Pakistani nation loves sports, and especially cricket. The crowds are big everywhere. They love coming to see all the great teams from England, Australia, India, Sri Lanka. The problem had already started with Australia and India not playing here, but now it is much worse, and we don't know if anyone will come here to play us."

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • friedmaggi on March 7, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    Clearly,Younis Khan does not like what happening in his country. Problems at grass root level can never be solved with just a sport inspiring people.Not that Pakistan does not deserve to play cricket. Pakistan is a democracy.It is in the hands of people to get their priorities right. Smasher79..why keep maneuvering the discussion in your favour.Sri Lankans offered to come to Pakistan as a token of goodwill.That should not have happend to them in any case!!Please realize that the problem in Pakistan is denial of anarchy prevailing in there.Do you think security arrangements were organised well enough? Only 8 policemen present for a team bus also carrying match officials. Know about what India offered to English players when they came back after 26/11 Mumbai. I think if better security arrangements were made those 6 policemen would not have been dead. The state of affairs in Pakistan is no more a secret.Please stop living in denial.Start to think of solutions.Take leaps forward.Gud luck

  • Smasher79 on March 6, 2009, 15:46 GMT

    I strongly condemn what hap in lahore. MR ST JOHN you are calling butt's comments obnoxious. I think broad is being obnoxious because i think he doesn't realise that among the dead there were 6 policemen. So comparing himself to sitting ducks is absurd. He has no right to say that because he was saved by a commando. MR CHOUDHRY i believe you have interpreted younis totally wrong. All he wants to say is that teams should be provided higher level of security so they can tour PAK with confidence, which will eventually save the game in PAK. MR SUNIL PATEL first of all you are no one to say you oppose cricket on PAK soil. YOU are just an ordinary spectator like me sitting behind the cathode tube. Secondly i agree work needs to be done in order to improve security for visitors. This can be done. Lets just leave this to the concerned authorities.

  • StJohn on March 6, 2009, 8:42 GMT

    I think Ijaz Butt's comments about Chris Broad "lying" are obnoxious and unfortunate. The players (and presumably also the officials) were promised "head of state" level security. If this was "head of state" level security, then all heads of states can be grateful that they were not in Lahore that morning. It is right that we should await the official report into the level of security and he is right that several policemen tragically were killed. But his stinging attack on Chris Broad is deeply unfortunate: the poor guy's just been shot at in your country and he jumped on someone else to try to protect them. Broad is entitled to be angry, and Butt should have the grace to let Broad's comments go, even if he doesn't entirely agree with them. I wonder what Ijaz Butt would be saying if he had been shot at? Probably the same as Broad...

  • MChoudhury on March 6, 2009, 8:06 GMT

    If a society gives two options to its people, either play with bat and ball or play with rifles and grenades, then the society is in need of immediate surgery to purge out the germs that has caused this sad state of affairs. And cricket may play a part in the healing process post the surgery, but it definitely can not play any part in the process of surgery. Younis Khan has got confused between cause and effect, he needs to remember that any society should never provide the option of playing with bullets and bombs as an option against playing with bat and ball. The issue of terrorism, religious bigotry needs to be he handled on a different plane, cricket is just a victim in this case, its absence can never be the cause, the cause is something totally different and needs to be addressed directly.

  • Josephus72 on March 6, 2009, 0:59 GMT

    I think most followers of cricket will have some sympathy for the views expressed by Younis. Unfortunately, given what has transpired in Lahore, cricket can only be a secondary consideration.

    No other ICC member countries have any responsibilty to Pakistan or the PCB to support the game in that country under the current political environment. The PCB must do what it can to foster the sport from a domestic level, in order to keep grassroots development progressing. But other countries should not be compelled to consider "what will become of the youngsters of Pakistan". It is not their job, it is not their responsibility.

  • patilsunil on March 5, 2009, 23:47 GMT

    I agree with younis khan that they may face problems if cricket is not being played in Pakistan. But my dear younis how come player will play with their life in danger? Sri lankans took the risk and whole world saw what happened with them. You want more such incedents? You might not have seen how those gunnmens were walking on the streets with no fear as if they are doing shopping in malls. In such a worst security situation how come one expect some one to come and play on such soil? It is routine news in pakistan about blast. If you assure president style security and provide them nothing, how come ICC or anyone will belive in you. I strongly oppose cricket on pakistani soil.

  • _IndianCricketFan on March 5, 2009, 22:34 GMT

    This is bad news for cricket and Pakistan and India is NOT celebrating. But I have to say, removing cricket will not increase terrorism in Pakistan. The reason is, Pakistan is already being taken over by terrorists. Was the problem the lack of cricket? I dont think so. The terrorism problem stems from elsewhere and Pakistan government needs to deal with it. Bringing in cricket from all over the globe will not help reducing the number of terrorists in Pakistan.

  • mordechai_sprint on March 5, 2009, 22:20 GMT

    There have been many sensible comments on this atrocity in Lahore. I am sad that Chris Broad was allowed by his employers to air his comments in the media. His views are obviously distorted by his horrendous experience. I must agree strongly with Younis Khan and many other commentators about the brotherhood of cricketers that transcends national boundaries and the need for cricket to find any way possible to move forwards together. Finally my condolences to the Pakistani security forces who gave their lives successfully protecting the national team of Sri Lanka. Also my best wishes to the fine team from Sri Lanka.

  • US_Indian on March 5, 2009, 22:08 GMT

    I am a Indian muslim living in the US, and I follow cricket like a religion. It was really unfortunate to see this happen. All those people including myself who thought those sick minded terrorist wont dare to do such thing like attacking cricketers or carrying suicide attacks in a stadium have been proven wrong. Its an utter failure of the BCP and the local and federal government who can't provide proper security to visitors and we talk about being good hosts. My sympathies are with injured Srilankan cricketers and those who lost their lives fighting to save them, and no words can be used to thank the bus driver who saved so many lives. These are the repurcussions for activities started by Pakistan during the 70's where they served as a training ground and ammunition suppliers to Afghanistan, Punjab, Kashmir etc to appease their big bosses who are remote controlling them till date. Islam means peace and trying to kill your guest is not Islam, this is what they teach in Madrassas MGBT

  • juniorjain on March 5, 2009, 20:38 GMT

    Its sad that a country which has produced so many stalwarts should face such a situation. In a way Younis khan is right..cricket does provide a reason for a lot of youngsters to pursue their obsession and taking cricket away can lead to disaster..but one can't expect countries to visit Pakistan for atleast an year or so..neutral venues is the only option..Pakistan cricket will have to suffer due to madness of a few..Broad's comments should be taken seriously because if there was a security lapse then it could spell dooms day next time..Kudos to brave police men and the driver for saving the lives of srilankan cricketers but this might not be the case if such a thing happens again..So evaluation is necessary..Point about Indians celebrating is utterly rubbish..as an Indian I know how much we admire the style and class of Pakistani cricketers. Lets hope Pakistan cricket overcomes the shock soon.

  • friedmaggi on March 7, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    Clearly,Younis Khan does not like what happening in his country. Problems at grass root level can never be solved with just a sport inspiring people.Not that Pakistan does not deserve to play cricket. Pakistan is a democracy.It is in the hands of people to get their priorities right. Smasher79..why keep maneuvering the discussion in your favour.Sri Lankans offered to come to Pakistan as a token of goodwill.That should not have happend to them in any case!!Please realize that the problem in Pakistan is denial of anarchy prevailing in there.Do you think security arrangements were organised well enough? Only 8 policemen present for a team bus also carrying match officials. Know about what India offered to English players when they came back after 26/11 Mumbai. I think if better security arrangements were made those 6 policemen would not have been dead. The state of affairs in Pakistan is no more a secret.Please stop living in denial.Start to think of solutions.Take leaps forward.Gud luck

  • Smasher79 on March 6, 2009, 15:46 GMT

    I strongly condemn what hap in lahore. MR ST JOHN you are calling butt's comments obnoxious. I think broad is being obnoxious because i think he doesn't realise that among the dead there were 6 policemen. So comparing himself to sitting ducks is absurd. He has no right to say that because he was saved by a commando. MR CHOUDHRY i believe you have interpreted younis totally wrong. All he wants to say is that teams should be provided higher level of security so they can tour PAK with confidence, which will eventually save the game in PAK. MR SUNIL PATEL first of all you are no one to say you oppose cricket on PAK soil. YOU are just an ordinary spectator like me sitting behind the cathode tube. Secondly i agree work needs to be done in order to improve security for visitors. This can be done. Lets just leave this to the concerned authorities.

  • StJohn on March 6, 2009, 8:42 GMT

    I think Ijaz Butt's comments about Chris Broad "lying" are obnoxious and unfortunate. The players (and presumably also the officials) were promised "head of state" level security. If this was "head of state" level security, then all heads of states can be grateful that they were not in Lahore that morning. It is right that we should await the official report into the level of security and he is right that several policemen tragically were killed. But his stinging attack on Chris Broad is deeply unfortunate: the poor guy's just been shot at in your country and he jumped on someone else to try to protect them. Broad is entitled to be angry, and Butt should have the grace to let Broad's comments go, even if he doesn't entirely agree with them. I wonder what Ijaz Butt would be saying if he had been shot at? Probably the same as Broad...

  • MChoudhury on March 6, 2009, 8:06 GMT

    If a society gives two options to its people, either play with bat and ball or play with rifles and grenades, then the society is in need of immediate surgery to purge out the germs that has caused this sad state of affairs. And cricket may play a part in the healing process post the surgery, but it definitely can not play any part in the process of surgery. Younis Khan has got confused between cause and effect, he needs to remember that any society should never provide the option of playing with bullets and bombs as an option against playing with bat and ball. The issue of terrorism, religious bigotry needs to be he handled on a different plane, cricket is just a victim in this case, its absence can never be the cause, the cause is something totally different and needs to be addressed directly.

  • Josephus72 on March 6, 2009, 0:59 GMT

    I think most followers of cricket will have some sympathy for the views expressed by Younis. Unfortunately, given what has transpired in Lahore, cricket can only be a secondary consideration.

    No other ICC member countries have any responsibilty to Pakistan or the PCB to support the game in that country under the current political environment. The PCB must do what it can to foster the sport from a domestic level, in order to keep grassroots development progressing. But other countries should not be compelled to consider "what will become of the youngsters of Pakistan". It is not their job, it is not their responsibility.

  • patilsunil on March 5, 2009, 23:47 GMT

    I agree with younis khan that they may face problems if cricket is not being played in Pakistan. But my dear younis how come player will play with their life in danger? Sri lankans took the risk and whole world saw what happened with them. You want more such incedents? You might not have seen how those gunnmens were walking on the streets with no fear as if they are doing shopping in malls. In such a worst security situation how come one expect some one to come and play on such soil? It is routine news in pakistan about blast. If you assure president style security and provide them nothing, how come ICC or anyone will belive in you. I strongly oppose cricket on pakistani soil.

  • _IndianCricketFan on March 5, 2009, 22:34 GMT

    This is bad news for cricket and Pakistan and India is NOT celebrating. But I have to say, removing cricket will not increase terrorism in Pakistan. The reason is, Pakistan is already being taken over by terrorists. Was the problem the lack of cricket? I dont think so. The terrorism problem stems from elsewhere and Pakistan government needs to deal with it. Bringing in cricket from all over the globe will not help reducing the number of terrorists in Pakistan.

  • mordechai_sprint on March 5, 2009, 22:20 GMT

    There have been many sensible comments on this atrocity in Lahore. I am sad that Chris Broad was allowed by his employers to air his comments in the media. His views are obviously distorted by his horrendous experience. I must agree strongly with Younis Khan and many other commentators about the brotherhood of cricketers that transcends national boundaries and the need for cricket to find any way possible to move forwards together. Finally my condolences to the Pakistani security forces who gave their lives successfully protecting the national team of Sri Lanka. Also my best wishes to the fine team from Sri Lanka.

  • US_Indian on March 5, 2009, 22:08 GMT

    I am a Indian muslim living in the US, and I follow cricket like a religion. It was really unfortunate to see this happen. All those people including myself who thought those sick minded terrorist wont dare to do such thing like attacking cricketers or carrying suicide attacks in a stadium have been proven wrong. Its an utter failure of the BCP and the local and federal government who can't provide proper security to visitors and we talk about being good hosts. My sympathies are with injured Srilankan cricketers and those who lost their lives fighting to save them, and no words can be used to thank the bus driver who saved so many lives. These are the repurcussions for activities started by Pakistan during the 70's where they served as a training ground and ammunition suppliers to Afghanistan, Punjab, Kashmir etc to appease their big bosses who are remote controlling them till date. Islam means peace and trying to kill your guest is not Islam, this is what they teach in Madrassas MGBT

  • juniorjain on March 5, 2009, 20:38 GMT

    Its sad that a country which has produced so many stalwarts should face such a situation. In a way Younis khan is right..cricket does provide a reason for a lot of youngsters to pursue their obsession and taking cricket away can lead to disaster..but one can't expect countries to visit Pakistan for atleast an year or so..neutral venues is the only option..Pakistan cricket will have to suffer due to madness of a few..Broad's comments should be taken seriously because if there was a security lapse then it could spell dooms day next time..Kudos to brave police men and the driver for saving the lives of srilankan cricketers but this might not be the case if such a thing happens again..So evaluation is necessary..Point about Indians celebrating is utterly rubbish..as an Indian I know how much we admire the style and class of Pakistani cricketers. Lets hope Pakistan cricket overcomes the shock soon.

  • humanonomics on March 5, 2009, 19:55 GMT

    @Hibs we Indians are humans too, we don;t celebrate any loss of life, be it anybody's and be it anywhere.

  • markzor on March 5, 2009, 17:51 GMT

    In reply to the post of "Hibs" and others who say "india is celebrating", where exactly did you find reports of india celebrating, share the link (hopefully it's not from one of those sensationalizing local press scoops). No one is celebrating, everyone's saddened at the loss of lives from this insanity. They have been saying, do not deny but dismantle terrorism and purge their supporters. To all Govt's and their representatives (be it india or pakistan), do not live in denials and accusing other sane people of lying. Acknowledge that a severe problem of internal security exists, that's the first step to approaching a lasting solution to this menace. Living in denials, thrashing others observations and just hoping the problem will go away one day, is a recipe for future disasters.

  • jhsethi on March 5, 2009, 17:46 GMT

    Hi, Im from Pakistan and I believe Mr.Broad has gone bonkers. He is in shock and is horrified about what he experienced. I ask him, why 7 People are dead 6 of whom were people protecting them. How come not a single person in the bus got killed. How come there were broken down police vehicles at the scene. Why didnt the driver die, he was the first and the most important target. why didnt a single gernade blow them up why didnt the rocket hit its target?????? And yet he says nobody was protecting them!! I ask him to get some sleep and shut up!!

  • kanishk4cricket on March 5, 2009, 16:44 GMT

    As an Indian who loves this great game, I feel sad to see what has happened. Its not only Pakistan's loss but world's cricket loss if there will be no cricket on the Pakistani soil. It has always been very exciting to watch the Indian cricket team or for that matter any other cricket team, travel to Pakistan. He is right to say that this could drastically affect the cricketing base in Pakistan. @kurt_slave : Pretty foolish comment! A sport brings moments of sanity in an otherwise disturbed state. You NEED cricket in the country. You NEED role models and heroes which the game provided. You want the kids to grow up emulating Imran Khans and Wasim Akrams! And regarding the expats...bud without a home country support, Pak Cricket could just die. A foreign soil is a foreign soil, and cannot replace home country. @Hibs : Those Indians who celebrate on this attack are fools and you can safely ignore them. Like someone said, they form a small fraction and TV channels blow it out of proportion

  • sfnad on March 5, 2009, 16:15 GMT

    a true cricket lover knows " Cricket has no borders... all good teams play for prgress of the game." those who are celebrating do not know anything about cricket...they have other motives. lets promote cricket..I totally agree with Yunus Khan.

  • Omair24 on March 5, 2009, 16:03 GMT

    first of all i appreciate the sri lankan govt for such comments. it was so terrible puttation for lankan cricketers, their family and nation. but still their players and govt are willing to tour pakistan in future. where pakistan cricket future is not looking so bright statement of lankan officials are courageous for us. atleast cris broad should learn something from this. pakistan is cricket loving and cricket crazy nation and should not be leave alone in this difficult situation. no place is save in this world now. incidents also happened in england, india and in other countries. cricket will we damaged swearly if pakistan being tried to cornered. so dear cricket authorities wake up before time go

  • asim1 on March 5, 2009, 16:00 GMT

    I'm glad there is someone who can speak out for the plight of Pakistan at this time, what Younis Khan has to say is valid and it does more good to Pakistan than the comments coming from Ijaz Butt who is running around criticizing Stuart Broad for his comments. Younis Khan is showing great leadership right now and I'm happy he is the one in charge rather than Shoaib Malik.... I hope he can show this kind of leadership on the field as well, if anyones still actually worried about cricket anymore?

  • Shlok on March 5, 2009, 15:49 GMT

    "I was a bit disgusted to see the celebrations in India of the events in Lahore, a word of caution for India 'what goes around comes around'" Posted by Hibs on March 05 2009, 11:04 AM GMT

    Firstly, my best wishes to the families of the brave officers who lost their lives against the terrorists and to the brave Sri Lankan cricketers.

    Although India has made many mistakes and still does so, I think "what goes around comes around" applies more to Pakistan than to India. Moreover, all the right-minded Indians are with the Pakistani's who want peace and love cricket. We're a population of almost 1.2 billion and are bound to have a few fools who actually celebrated this terrorist attack. And sometimes the Indian media loves to capture news that would attract viewers without thinking about ethics. Bottomline - all countries should work together to eliminate terrorism and promote education for all children. Education is the key and can help prevent people from getting brainwashed.

  • rock_13 on March 5, 2009, 14:07 GMT

    Younis should be a bit more practical. Pakistan is fighting a tough war, and it doesnt need to strecth its security forces more just to accomodate a cricket team. How would them playing in a neutral venue not solve their problem. Why should a team play with the fear of death looming every second. Cricket is a tough enough game when played with 100% mental and physical concentration. Most kids Younis is talking about cant afford to go to a game anyways, and they can catch any game on TV if played in a neutral venue. Im sure this is not such bad news for expat Pakistanis who can probably afford the tickets for these games.

  • Gillybean on March 5, 2009, 13:05 GMT

    I totally agree with Younis Khan in that taking away the International matches and can lead to a lack of interest by future upcoming cricketers. Resulting in negative interest by the youth. Most cricket fans await tours to their country to see their home team play other great players.

    On the other hand it is also difficult on the international players as Cricket means alot to them, they also have at the top of their priority list their families. The Onus is on Pakistan Authorities and leader to get to the root of the problem. I know it is easier said than done.

    I really believe the ICC would like as much nations as possible to be members and have as much National Teams as they can. Also the variety of places to play all around the world including Pakistan.

    We cricket fans all around the world have your nation in our prayers, hoping that good prevails over evil.

    God Bless Windies Cricket Fan Gillian P.

  • BellCurve on March 5, 2009, 12:40 GMT

    My respect for Younis Khan, both as a player and a captain, has increased greatly in the last few weeks. The last thing the good people of Pakistan now need is for the rest of the cricket-playing world to abandon them. They need support, through ongoing participation in sport, but also by ensuring that security standards are improved. They war on terror is the most likely cause of this outrages attack, and sporting isolation will only make matters worse.

  • LadyK on March 5, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    Agree that really it is up to Pakistan government to act. Evidently the security for this match was wholly inadequate; but that things like this happen at all is the problem. I sympathise with what Younis Khan is saying, but the answer has to begin in Pakistan, in making it harder for these people to go around killing.

  • poderdubdubdub on March 5, 2009, 11:04 GMT

    Younis Khan is more sincere and wiser than those at the helm of affairs in Pakistan. It was Pakistani agencies total failure to provide the promised security to the players that has resulted in this situation. I am afraid the whole nation of Pakistan has to STAND UP to the culprits who have hijacked the whole nation. You cant expect the foreigners to risk their lives to save cricket in Pakistan. Let the Pakistanis learn their lesson for being so tolerent for so long to the militancy. I was a bit disgusted to see the celebrations in India of the events in Lahore, a word of caution for India 'what goes around comes around', also the outside world sees India and Pakistan with the same eye when it comes to terrorism!

  • calmcricketer on March 5, 2009, 10:48 GMT

    I am a pakistani and am ashamed at whats going on arround here. Admit india is getting a lot better then before.progressing and acting as to make india and world a better place to live. BUT you know people here in pakistan are still believing that its just ACT like a drama. Mumbai attacks .. Lahore attacks. what the hell is this. I believe both would continue to skirmish like this until people of both nations start to trust each other to great extent. For the peace ( the most needfull thing for peace , future cricket and good sports) we need to push these elements fighting each other to stop all nonsense. In the end i would say 3 things. India being in better position require to have big heart and not push this nation. pakistan being entangled in all kinds of problems need to do much more for peace & third that its a pity that somebody on this planet is pushing the innocent games like cricket to hell.

  • Noman_Aziz on March 5, 2009, 10:44 GMT

    I agree with Younis but some has to come out and admit the complete failure in security. International teams have a very good reason not to come to Pakistan. I ask Pakistani security where was that 'presidential level' security?? How could these people come our and attak and then escape so easily? It is said that the gun battle went on for the next 15-20 minutes. Where was teh police backup? and why werent the terrorists persued. Its was nieve to think Pakistan was safe for cricket, but it was the responsibility of teh security to make it impossible for anyone to get through. Until these questions are answered I as a Pakistani would recomment Internation Teams not to visit Pakistan for the forseable future.

  • djzeeshi on March 5, 2009, 10:38 GMT

    Yes He is right but the problem is with the polititian who are least bothered about security situation in Pakistan, and trust me as long as they are fighting with each other these terrorists will do freely whatever they want to do

  • linusjee on March 5, 2009, 10:33 GMT

    No sane country or player is going to risk their lives in a country beset by terrorists the way Pakistan is unfortunately is today. Younis needs to direct his ire at the powers that be in his nation who are doing nothing to control this madness. The Pakistani army is over 600 thousand strong. The terrorists probably number around 20 thousand at best. It is beyond belief that the Pakistani army, well trained and professional, cannot root out these madmen and settle the issue in short shrift. The fact is that it seems to suit some leaders to have this kind of anarchy for whatever mad reason they see fit. It is time the level headed populace of Pakistan stand up and demand their leaders fix the country. In the meanwhile, Cricket, Sports and the sport loving nation of Pakistan will be the only ones who suffer.

  • joeyndlovu on March 5, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    What can be done, lets stop the blame game. It is certainly a shame that such an event has to occur but it has occurred now what is the way forward. Are countries going to start trying to get Pakistan and India out of the ICC or is a way of finding a way of bettering the nations through sport. Protection of players should done as a joint venture between countries. ICC can only go as far as requesting security but the countries themselves have to provide the actual man power. Otherwise before long only England, Australia, New Zealand and maybe South Africa and West Indies to some extent would be left in the ICC. Cause they are the countries who seem to have good governance and security.

  • sindhyar on March 5, 2009, 10:18 GMT

    Its not JUST a GAME .. its everything.. or was.. I, being a Pakistani, agree with My Khan.. I know lives are precious... but by being afraid, we are being 'terrorised' that is where they earn their title of being terrorists. if you let them terrorise Pakistan, who knows where they would stop.. it has to stop now.. and here.. and let cricket, a game, make same difference it did in South Africa..

  • D.V.C. on March 5, 2009, 9:52 GMT

    I agree with others here who have said that no cricketer should be asked to risk their life to play a game. Yet Pakistani cricket must not be allowed to be damaged by these attacks. I would like to naively suggest some ideas. Since the Pakistani team must now play all their matches abroad the other cricketing boards should agree to give Pakistan 50% of all revenue from those games in which they play. If every match Pakistan plays is an away game then they could be playing twice as many games in each of the other countries and so this seems fair. I don't know if cricket in Pakistan is broadcast free to air, but if it isn't all attempts should be made to do so. If a broadcaster is unwilling to give up all rights they might have, perhaps they would permit free broadcasting to a 'host' city in Pakistan. i.e. A Pakistani city is nominated for each game and that city gets live-to-air free broadcast of the game; it would be like a home game for that city. Youngsters should also be able ctd...

  • sureshcms on March 5, 2009, 9:40 GMT

    Dear All we pray for Pakistan people because they are facing the problems regularly. We all know that the cricket team has attacked but the people of pakistan are daily attacked by those mobs. So we pray for them also to lead a free and prosperous life.

    Regards,

    cms

  • 21081986 on March 5, 2009, 9:15 GMT

    I was a supporter of cricket in Pakistan before what happened in Lahore the other day. But after the incident i have realised that you cannot risk your life for the sake of a game

  • markzor on March 5, 2009, 9:11 GMT

    Almost all opinions from Pakistan supporters, barring Kamran Abbasi, are missing the point. The issue is not about international teams not wanting to play in Pakistan, but about the reign (with Pakistan being the epi-center) of terror unleashed in the region, that is willing to kill/maim anyone to gain publicity for a perverse medieval agenda. It is extremely self serving to demand international sports teams to visit the region, to prove any point, risking their lives. The solution is for the respective governments to take this clear and present danger head on and eliminate it. Until that happens do not sermonize or chastise cricketers for declining to show up. The cricketers of the region, instead are better advised to direct their ire on their respective governments and demand meaningful lasting action that creates stability and individual security in their society, before bringing international sport to the region. You don't play sport with a sword of Damocles hanging over the head.

  • mohanjee on March 5, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    I do feel for cricket fans all over the world. Cricket is not going to be same. This may even have political percussions in Pakistan. It's important that terrorism is defeated not only in Pakistan but it's overflow to neighbouring countries.

  • Amit_Desai on March 5, 2009, 9:00 GMT

    This article highlights Younis concerns, but I think it is directed to the wrong people. ICC / cricket administrators cannot help when you don't appeal in your backyard - your government, your people. Unless your backyard is safe to play (and that is entireley in the hands of your govt & people), appealing to cricket administrators is a futile plea.

  • Prats6 on March 5, 2009, 8:18 GMT

    I agree with Younis, as I believe that he is one of the best gentlemen in cricket, and I am an Indian and I can still say that. But the problem is that however important it may be , no one is going to risk their lives over a game, and that is the truth. Once a player feels there is no safety in a particular region and has the examples to fall back on, it is next to impossible to be playing there.

  • suraj_083 on March 5, 2009, 8:11 GMT

    this attack will really hurt cricket much more than anything has hurt it till now. We have only 9 test playing nations, and this incident will, no way, help in increasing the popularity of the game. Younis is rightly concerned about the future of the game in pakistan.

  • lamd on March 5, 2009, 8:00 GMT

    I am more than a bit disgusted with the almost smug celebration in India of the events in Lahore. It is a different matter of course that it was almost the same reaction in Pakistan to the events in Mumbai. If anybody in India or Pakistan wants to look at history and see what infighting and betrayal have done, they need to look no further than the battle of Plassey. That Pakistan has a huge terrorist infrastructure supported by parts of the army and some politicians is beyond doubt. What is forgotten is that Indian politicians are no different an I would not be surprised if a number of self serving imbeciles who strut about on the political scene are actively providing protection to terrorists within India. The problem in Pakistan is that the people who helped build up the terrorist infrastructure did not realise that this was a beast that would one day go out of control. It will do the same one day in India as well. And then we willonce again become slaves to the west.

  • steppenwolf on March 5, 2009, 7:41 GMT

    While Younis' appeal is understandable, the fact remains that it is the Pakistani government's failure to provide the necessary security to players that has resulted in this situation. If it boils down to a player having to choose between saving the cricketing future of a nation and risking death, he'll tear up his ticket to Pakistan without a second thought.

    It'll take the Pakistan government a long time to prove to the cricketing world that they can secure the playing environment and the players themselves.

  • vinodkd99 on March 5, 2009, 7:18 GMT

    I suppose Younis has explained it the best possible way one could do. But his indication that the kids might turn up to play with bombs and such things in case there is no cricket in Pakistan in itself is an indication to Pak Govt that the things are worsening there. I hope that Pak Govt acts soon against terrorism and wipes it off completely.

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  • vinodkd99 on March 5, 2009, 7:18 GMT

    I suppose Younis has explained it the best possible way one could do. But his indication that the kids might turn up to play with bombs and such things in case there is no cricket in Pakistan in itself is an indication to Pak Govt that the things are worsening there. I hope that Pak Govt acts soon against terrorism and wipes it off completely.

  • steppenwolf on March 5, 2009, 7:41 GMT

    While Younis' appeal is understandable, the fact remains that it is the Pakistani government's failure to provide the necessary security to players that has resulted in this situation. If it boils down to a player having to choose between saving the cricketing future of a nation and risking death, he'll tear up his ticket to Pakistan without a second thought.

    It'll take the Pakistan government a long time to prove to the cricketing world that they can secure the playing environment and the players themselves.

  • lamd on March 5, 2009, 8:00 GMT

    I am more than a bit disgusted with the almost smug celebration in India of the events in Lahore. It is a different matter of course that it was almost the same reaction in Pakistan to the events in Mumbai. If anybody in India or Pakistan wants to look at history and see what infighting and betrayal have done, they need to look no further than the battle of Plassey. That Pakistan has a huge terrorist infrastructure supported by parts of the army and some politicians is beyond doubt. What is forgotten is that Indian politicians are no different an I would not be surprised if a number of self serving imbeciles who strut about on the political scene are actively providing protection to terrorists within India. The problem in Pakistan is that the people who helped build up the terrorist infrastructure did not realise that this was a beast that would one day go out of control. It will do the same one day in India as well. And then we willonce again become slaves to the west.

  • suraj_083 on March 5, 2009, 8:11 GMT

    this attack will really hurt cricket much more than anything has hurt it till now. We have only 9 test playing nations, and this incident will, no way, help in increasing the popularity of the game. Younis is rightly concerned about the future of the game in pakistan.

  • Prats6 on March 5, 2009, 8:18 GMT

    I agree with Younis, as I believe that he is one of the best gentlemen in cricket, and I am an Indian and I can still say that. But the problem is that however important it may be , no one is going to risk their lives over a game, and that is the truth. Once a player feels there is no safety in a particular region and has the examples to fall back on, it is next to impossible to be playing there.

  • Amit_Desai on March 5, 2009, 9:00 GMT

    This article highlights Younis concerns, but I think it is directed to the wrong people. ICC / cricket administrators cannot help when you don't appeal in your backyard - your government, your people. Unless your backyard is safe to play (and that is entireley in the hands of your govt & people), appealing to cricket administrators is a futile plea.

  • mohanjee on March 5, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    I do feel for cricket fans all over the world. Cricket is not going to be same. This may even have political percussions in Pakistan. It's important that terrorism is defeated not only in Pakistan but it's overflow to neighbouring countries.

  • markzor on March 5, 2009, 9:11 GMT

    Almost all opinions from Pakistan supporters, barring Kamran Abbasi, are missing the point. The issue is not about international teams not wanting to play in Pakistan, but about the reign (with Pakistan being the epi-center) of terror unleashed in the region, that is willing to kill/maim anyone to gain publicity for a perverse medieval agenda. It is extremely self serving to demand international sports teams to visit the region, to prove any point, risking their lives. The solution is for the respective governments to take this clear and present danger head on and eliminate it. Until that happens do not sermonize or chastise cricketers for declining to show up. The cricketers of the region, instead are better advised to direct their ire on their respective governments and demand meaningful lasting action that creates stability and individual security in their society, before bringing international sport to the region. You don't play sport with a sword of Damocles hanging over the head.

  • 21081986 on March 5, 2009, 9:15 GMT

    I was a supporter of cricket in Pakistan before what happened in Lahore the other day. But after the incident i have realised that you cannot risk your life for the sake of a game

  • sureshcms on March 5, 2009, 9:40 GMT

    Dear All we pray for Pakistan people because they are facing the problems regularly. We all know that the cricket team has attacked but the people of pakistan are daily attacked by those mobs. So we pray for them also to lead a free and prosperous life.

    Regards,

    cms