Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2008-09 / News

Fallout of the Lahore attack

Butt accuses Broad of lies over lax security

Cricinfo staff

March 5, 2009

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Ijaz Butt: 'All his [Broad's] statements are false. He has now made obnoxious comments' © AFP
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Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, has accused Chris Broad of lying in claiming that security was lax for the visiting team and officials in Lahore.

Broad said on Wednesday that players and officials arriving for the Test were not provided sufficient protection despite assurances given by the PCB.

Butt, though, disputed Broad's account. "It is a big lie that there were no policemen. A commando jumped over Broad and saved his life. The commando was hurt so if there was no policeman, how come Broad was saved?

"All his [Broad's] statements are false. He has now made obnoxious comments. That a gentleman of his stature is saying this is unfortunate," he told reporters in Lahore. "He says there was no policemen there [but] I think there could be no bigger lie than this because six policemen died and ten are injured.

"Our people have also been injured. We lost six policemen who were trying to protect the cricketers and the match officials. So if some one is complaining about just a scratch, then it is very sad."

The PCB, he said, would lodge a formal protest with the ICC against Broad, who was the ICC's match referee for the Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the city.

But Broad's account of events was backed by umpire Simon Taufel. "I'm angry we were isolated, I'm angry we didn't get the same amount of security the playing staff got, and I'm angry that in our hour of need, we were left on our own," he said. Simon Davis, the other umpire, went out of his way to praise Broad's actions during the attack.

Dominic Cork, who was in Lahore working for the media at the time of the attack, reacted angrily to Butt's comments. "If Butt believes the security was good enough for international sportsman then he is wrong," he said. "He should live and die by the words he came out with ... he is completely and utterly out of order. When they were getting the teams out of there I witnessed Butt sitting down and doing absolutely nothing."

Butt also denied suggestions of a conspiracy in the attack that singled out foreign players and officials. "It is wrong to suggest that. The same security procedure was followed," he said. "The Pakistan team used to leave at the same time as the Sri Lankan team and other officials, but somehow or the other on that day they got a bit late.

"There a two high powered investigations going on [and] I think we should not do witch-hunting. Let's not fool ourselves and our country, let the report come out. A lot of allegations are being made [and] instead of putting the blame on each other I think we should wait."

Wasim Bari, the PCB's director of HR and administration, also brushed off claims of slack security. "Let the investigations conclude then we will get to know what were the security lapses."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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