It was one of the darkest days in cricket history. A cricket team was targetted by the terrorists which was deemed as not possible by the Pakistani politicians when India decided to pull out of the series. Pakistan cricket which was already in the doldrums after International sides refused to tour there received a great setback. There has been lots of speculation in the aftermath of the attacks regarding the security provided and stuff but the reality is that the damage has been done. It will be difficult for Pakistan to bounce back from this disaster.
The Srilankan cricketers were really lucky to have survived the attack and it was only due to the bravery shown by their bus driver they escaped with minor injuries. The Srilankan’s were one team who always wanted to travel to Pakistan and what happened to them was attrocious. Srilankan cricketers are humble and friendly. Even when they are the opponents its hard to hate them. Its really unfortunate that this has to happen to them after they had graciously accepted to tour Pakistan after India had pulled out. Six srilankan players were injured during the attacks including the captain Jayawardane and the vice captain Sangakkara. Thilan Samaraveera and Tharanga were the worst affected and they were fortunate that the bullet just hit them at an angle that it couldnt penetrate.
As said in the media cricketers are soft targets for the terrorists and this will for sure put fears in the mind of teams around the world. This actually can have far greater implications on pakistan and rest of the subcontinent. Western teams would think twice about touring even India and Srilanka after these attacks. This has been the first instance of a cricket team to be targetted directly. As Harsha said in his column in Express India ICC have to take some harsh decisions regarding the WC. They have to stand up and behave like the leaders which they havent been doing all these years.
My prayer goes to the families of the security personnel who were killed protecting the pride of their country and the bus driver who was unfortunately killed during these attacks. This is an unfortunate incident which has made sure that cricket will not be played in pakistan for quite sometime now and unless there is a miracle in the next two years the WC 2011 might not happen there too. I salute the bus driver Khalil who putting his life in line drove the Srilankan players to safety. If not for him this might have been a bigger tragedy. I also salute the Srilankan players who in spite of going through a traumatic experiance handled themselves gracefully. Hopefully we will see these humble and great cricketers well soon on the cricket field doing what they know best.