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August 18, 2006
The South Africans were a miffed lot when local media reports criticised their move to pull out of the tri-series in Sri Lanka citing security concerns, with one daily parading the headline 'South African cricketers chicken out'. The players denied rumours that a split between the junior and senior players influenced the decision to pull out. Cricinfo's readers wrote back with their take on the issue, and a few were of the opinion that there are double standards being adopted, with teams like Australia and England showing more fear in the subcontinent. Please keep the feedback coming.
It is highly understandable. As a Sri Lankan even I am scared to go out and it is also not advisable to host a SAF (South Asian Federation) Games or a triangular series. I respect the decision of the South Africans and the government-controlled daily's call as ' SA chicken out' showed the disappointment of Sri Lanka Cricket. Mohamed
It is an exhibition of ignorance and hypocrisy on the side of the South African cricketers and the Board to have taken such a decision and the team has succeeded in disappointing and breaking the hearts of over a billion people in the world. It's amazing how much "Australian and English-like" the South Africans have become (that's an insult by the way), in their approach to the matter, even after being a country that has seen the worst of times, and has produced leaders like Nelson Mandela. The subcontinent may not be as developed as South Africa, but there is a leaf South Africa can take out from their book when it comes to togetherness and commitment and more importantly understanding the public's heart.
Despite the tension between the India and Pakistan, both teams played each other and people enjoyed it. And when Australia and Windies refused to come to Sri Lanka in 1996, India and Pakistan made a goodwill gesture by sending a combined team. South Africa has Johannesburg, where even cricketers or supporters are not safe from roaming the streets as some Pakistani cricketers experienced recently.
And last but not least, what does a Dubai-based security company know about Sri Lanka? Anton Padmasiri
The news that the Sri Lankan media have used words such as "chicken" to describe the South Africans does not surprise me at all. This is an extension of the support of the Colombo media for the government's war efforts with the press openly acting as the mouthpiece for the government and the military. None of the Colombo-based media is capable of independent assessment. N Rabindran
I don't think that anyone is under the impression that the cricketers were going to be targeted as such. The real issue here is that bombs are indiscriminate killers and being in the wrong place at the wrong time could mean death or serious injury to players from any of the three teams. Instead of bemoaning the fact that South Africa pulled out of the tournament, Sri Lanka should get their house in order and resolve the underlying issues that are at the centre of the bombings. Other countries have in the past - including the very recent past - had tours cancelled due to varying political reasons; why not cancel a tour on real and present security issues. It is easy for the Sri Lankan cricket authorities to cry foul at South Africa's withdrawal, but what are they really upset about - the loss of income or being put in an embarrassing situation? Darren Reeksting
South Africa, Australia and England are three 'chicken' teams. They only talk about standing up to terrorism but when it comes to action, they are the first ones to run. When the London bombing went on last July, it was okay to continue playing the Ashes series. But the Asian cricket bosses are as gutless. When the white man dangles the dollar they will not boycott any of their tournaments. So Sri Lanka Cricket should stop complaining and next time pull out of one of their tournaments and see how they feel. Carlton Isaaks
It is rather unfortunate to withdraw from a scheduled tournament on the grounds of security. Such decisions are only applicable for countries like Sri Lanka, India or Pakistan. But a similar situation in Australia or England does not lead to such a withdrawal from a tournament. Badrudduza Kazi
A strange decision by the South Africans and a stranger assessment by a Dubai-based security firm. I guess the security assessment was 'fixed' by the South Africans considering that no member of the security team ever visited Sri Lanka in the last few days. How is it possible that any threat is only for the South African players and not the Indian or Lankan players? I guess the missiles and bomb will leave everybody else out and target only the South Africans...what a bunch of chicken heads. Garry
It's very clear that South Africa's decision to depart at the slightest opportunity was more to do with their failure in the two Tests than with the security concerns. South Africa wanted to avoid the taste of defeat in one-dayers and found a very good opportunity in the bomb blast that occured near the hotel. Ankur
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Plays of the day from the IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi