Players Now Seen As Targets - WICB President
Dr. Julian Hunte, President of the West Indies Cricket Board, has stated that cricketers will now be seen as targets for terrorists following the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.
Policemen and a bus driver were amongst those killed while a number of Sri Lankan players were injured and a match official remains in intensive care following an attack as the team made their way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
“This is a sad day for international cricket and a sad day for Pakistan cricket," Dr. Hunte said in a statement.
"The people of Pakistan will now be denied international cricket for the foreseeable future. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the members of the Sri Lanka team and we wish them well. We thank God no members of the team were killed. We also want to express condolences to the families of the security officers who died while trying to protect the Sri Lanka players, the team staff and team officials,” he added.
“This will also deal a serious blow to cricket lovers in Pakistan who will be deprived of cricket in the foreseeable future. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) must be devastated at the prospect of not being able to host international matches. This now puts the PCB in a difficult position to develop the game in their country.
"The attacks prove that the ICC was wise not to schedule the 2009 Champions Trophy there, after having postponed the tournament in 2008 for security reasons. The WICB took the decision in collaboration with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) not to attend the 2008 tournament for security reasons. In hindsight it was a very wise decision.”
“All Test-playing nations must ensure that security is priority Number One - in our area of the world as well. Before, it was felt that cricketers were not being targeted regardless of what was going on in Pakistan. There was a level of comfort.
“This now blows that away and it means cricketers are being seen as targets. It is a matter we cannot ignore, and we must ensure the safety of players and everyone else involved in this beautiful game.”
The West Indies played Pakistan in a One Day International series in late 2008 at a neutral venue but rejected the offer of a Test series in Pakistan.
© Cricket World 2009