What They Said About

'Cricket won't be played in Pakistan in the foreseeable future'

Reactions to the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, which has put in doubt Pakistan's status as an international sporting venue


Imran Khan: "The security provided to the Sri Lankan team was ten times less than what is given to interior ministry adviser Rehman Malik" © AFP
"It's very unfortunate that this has happened. Everything had gone on very well until this morning, but it just goes to show that nothing is as it seems. I don't regret coming here to play cricket because that's what we have been doing all our lives. That is our profession. But I regret this incident. All we want to do now is to go back home to our families, get back home and be safe."
Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka vice-captain
"Things will have to change dramatically in Pakistan in my opinion if any of the games are to be staged there."I think that international cricket in Pakistan is out of the question until there is a very significant change, a regime change, I guess."
David Morgan, ICC president
"It is pretty, pretty serious and it is very obvious that the landscape and the thinking has changed dramatically. We are going to have to re-evaluate what we do and where Pakistan plays its cricket."
Haroon Lorgat, ICC chief executive
"First of all I apologise to the Sri Lankan team for they toured Pakistan despite huge pressure. I strongly condemn the security provided to the Sri Lankan team because it was ten times less than what is given to Interior ministry adviser Rehman Malik. I think from the governor of Punjab to police officials, all must be made accountable - how did the gunmen openly shoot at a high-profile team? Foreign teams have already been refusing to tour us and this will hurt Pakistan cricket badly. I don't know what will happen to the World Cup 2011, its tough to say anything right now."
Imran Khan, former Pakistan captain, and head of Tehrik-e-Insaaf party
"Thank God we decided to leave our hotel five minutes after the Sri Lankans. God forbid, had both buses been moving together it could have been catastrophic. I talked with Ajantha Mendis, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera after the incident and told them the entire nation was sorry for what had happened."
Younis Khan, Pakistan captain
"It is a major, major shock. Teams were already unwilling to come to Pakistan. This will end the game for the next couple of years, including the hosting rights of the World Cup."
Wasim Akram, former Pakistan captain
"It is a big tragedy. Something like this should never have happened. We talk about foreign teams being provided top security but after what happened today I don't see any team coming to Pakistan for a while. Even the International Cricket Council (ICC) will now find it hard to allow the World Cup matches to be held in Pakistan. It is gone."
Waqar Younis, former Pakistan fast bowler
"It looks like a well-thought and planned assault. This [incident] is going to affect Pakistan cricket in the future. This is not to say that cricket will stop. The world will have to stay united and fight terrorism. I hope they just don¹t say they won't tour Pakistan. If we do that we will only support the terrorists' cause."
Javed Miandad, former Pakistan captain
"Pakistan's image will be hit and only time will tell how much damage has been done to Pakistan cricket. The World Cup too might be affected. Preparations for the World Cup will start much before 2011 and no country would want to come now to Pakistan. We will know the extent of damage to our cricket in some time. I am worried where Pakistan will get a chance to play, not only in Pakistan but outside as well."
Inzamam-ul-Haq, former Pakistan captain
"I am shocked, and very, very sad. It was an honest belief we held [that sporting teams would not be targeted by terrorists], and it is tragic that this has happened. Cricket won't be played in Pakistan for the forseeable future. Pakistan look like they will become a wandering cricket team now. They will be playing at neutral venues, because you can guarantee that there won't be games there. Obviously, there is no chance of the Champions Trophy or the World Cup going ahead there."
Geoff Lawson, former Pakistan coach
"It's very frightening that for the first time a cricket team appears to be the specific target of terrorist action. That's never happened before - all previous incidents have been about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is a very different proposition and I think just a very frightening one for world cricket."
Justin Vaughan, New Zealand Cricket chief executive
"A lot of the concerns we raised during the Champions Trophy have unfortunately come home to roost. There were a number of factors we considered, including the global exposure an attack on an international sporting team could have. This, unfortunately, is the realisation of many of the things we thought, and it is a terrible way to find out."
Reg Dickason, the security consultant contracted by the ECB and CA
"Our way of life and our favourite pastime has been targeted. We have to get united and fight the terrorists. The civil society, sportsmen have to wake up and raise their voice. Younis Khan's triple ton garnered positive headlines across cricketing world. People had started to come in to watch and we were hoping that cricket would revive in Pakistan. Then this has happened."
Ramiz Raja, former Pakistan captain, and commentator
"I was quite shocked, quite blank. It's sad that sportspersons are attacked. People say sport is not targeted, but you are not immune to it. Once a guy decides to attack the cricketers, we are not tough targets. Cricketers roam about freely on tours, so you have to be aware."
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India captain
"At the moment it's the safety of the people hurt [that is the main concern]. We've got some good friends in the Sri Lankan team, the Indians are also close to a lot of them. But I suppose it's tough for Pakistan cricket to come back from this, for no fault of their own."
Daniel Vettori, New Zealand captain
"It's devastating. I have been to Pakistan a few times, and I know a couple of Sri Lankans really well. I feel for the PCB and their players. It's no fault of their own."
Jacob Oram, New Zealand allrounder