Out

Yesterday the biggest cricket concerns for me were the draw between England and West Indies in the latest test meaning we could only draw with them in the series by winning the last match, the fact that even a weaker Australian team could still put the pressure on the South African team to end up beating them in the first test in South Africa- after the Australians lost a series at home to the South Africans – and the news yesterday that cricket might after all have been invented by Belgians.

I could resort to cliche and say I was savagely woken from this reverie this morning.  I certainly was woken this morning to the news about the attack upon the Sri Lankan team on the way to play a test match in Pakistan.  At the time there was little information about the team other than a number had been injured.  Thankfully we have now seen that only two players had injuries serious enough to require hospitalisation and the rest had cuts and bruises.  I say lucky that two players had been hospitalised but for such a well planned and co-ordinated attack involving grenades and machine guns it could have been much, much worse.  There have also been tales of the heroism of the team’s bus driver, and an Umpire being protected from further harm by a British match referee.

Sri Lanka were only touring in Pakistan because India didn’t feel it was safe to tour there, the 2009 Champions Trophy competition which was supposed to be held there had already been cancelled, Australia have not toured Pakistan since 2001 and New Zealand recently refused to go there.  I cannot see any games being played in Pakistan for a long time to come.

There has been speculation about whether this was the same group who caused the murder in Mumbai, the Tamil Tigers or another Al-Quaeda or Taleban organisation.  This post at Harry’s Place is quite clear about it being carried out by a Taliban linked group.  What is clear, as had been the case before, but is reinforced once again, is that Pakistan is in a very bad state.  That there could even be speculation that this attack was carried out by groups funded and organised by the country’s own security services shows what a bad way it is in.(part of a long history of ISI sponsored terrorism in the region.)   Coming less than a day after news that the Pakistan government has done a deal with Islamist forces to install a cease-fire in return for sharia law, especially with people linked to those who have destroyed up to 200 hundred schools, most for girls.  As the piece on Harry’s Place finished, “Pakistan is now locked in a battle for its own survival. Asif Zardari and Nazaw Sharif will need to set aside their factional bickering and jockeying for position to meet the grave challenges facing their country. They really only have one choice – to crush the Islamist threat which has already colonised one-fifth of Pakistan.”

UPDATE: As can be seen in reply to a comment, “the Pakistani Police officers who were guarding the Sri Lankan cricket team and gave their life should be added to the list of heroes, even though taking a bullet was their job, they gave up their life so the cricketers didn’t.”

UPDATE II: Normski is now on the case see here, here and here.

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2 Responses to “Out”

  1. jane Says:

    Pakistan may well be becoming a failed state – but let’s hear it for the Pakistani police officers, who did their job of protecting people, and five of them were killed in this attack. They probably all had wives and children.

    • theflashingblade Says:

      Funny, I had just thought I should update my comment to state that the Pakistani Police officers who were guarding the Sri Lankan cricket team and gave their life should be added to the list of heroes, even though taking a bullet was their job, they gave up their life so the cricketers didn’t.

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