Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sri Lanka Cricket team attacked in Pakistan: 8 wounded

"Sachin Tendulkar injured in a bomb blast. Dhoni escapes with bruises."

This would have been the headlines in marquee on the font page of TOI right now. But well, thanks to our security agencies warning, the tour was cancelled.

Sri lanka instead took up the chance and agreed to replace India.

India was to tour Pakistan in January-February to play three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 match. However, the Indian government did not clear the tour in the wake of last month's terror attacks in Mumbai, which it has blamed on terrorists based in Pakistan. This resulted in the desperate PCB sending an invitation to Sri Lanka Thursday.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Saleem Altaf thanked Sri Lanka for agreeing to play the series.

Well, a very nice way to thank the team indeed. Injure them. Bomb them.

Gunmen killed at least four people in an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team's bus on Tuesday as it drove to a stadium in the Pakistani city of Lahore, according witnesses and cricket officials.

Sri Lankan media, quoting the sports minister, said four players received minor injuries in the attack -- Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavithana.

Pakistan television channels news channels said four people were killed.

A witness told Reuters he believed two police commandos were killed along with a regular policeman and a traffic warden. Shopkeeper Ahmed Ali said the two police commandos had been driving behind the team bus when they were hit.

"It was a very heavy firing and I heard at least two explosions at the time," said a Reuters witness who had been on his way to cover the test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan only invited the Sri Lanka team to tour after India's team pulled out with security concerns following the militant attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai in November.

Security concerns have plagued Pakistan for years and some foreign sports teams have refused to play here. India has been in and out of this relation of playing against the close neighbours. This incident further aggravates the issue. It makes me wonder sometimes, is it for fun that the Pakistanis involved in such incidents indulge? Is it like, "yaar, aaj bahut bore ho raha hun. Chal kisiko maar kar aate hai."

Or maybe, " yaar bahut dino se Pakistan ki khabar international news mein nahi hai"

"koi na, Sri lanka waale yahin hai. Chal thodi net practise kar lelte hai."

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