Former England cricketer is hero after terrorists attack Sri Lanka cricket team

Former England cricket star Chris Broad was the hero yesterday after terrorists, probably Islamic, attacked the Sri Lanka team's bus as it was on its way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore to play the third day of the Second Test against Pakistan.

Broad, who is now a referee and way on his was to officiate at the match, was in a van behind the bus as gunmen opened fire. The three other men in Broad's van were shot, including the driver who was killed. Broad threw himself on top of another umpire sitting next to him, saving his life.

Broad is the father of England star Stuart Broad, who is in the West Indies with the England team who are involved in a series against the West Indies.

Shots were fired at the team bus carrying Sri Lanka players (who are households names in all cricketing nations including England), injuring seven of them, though none of the players were killed.

Sri Lanka players Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana were being treated in hospital.

Team captain Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Suranka Lakmal and Chaminda Vaas had minor injuries.

Sri Lanka's British assistant coach, former Kent and Middlesex wicketkeeper Paul Farbrace, was also hurt, but none was thought to be in a serious condition.

It was supposed to be India playing this Test match against Pakistan, but they cancelled their participance after the Mumbai terror attacks, which took place whilst England were in the country playing India. England decided, after much thought, to not cancel their upcoming Test against India after the attacks.

Cricket is so popular on the Indian sub-continent (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) that it is like a religion, and the players are like gods, similar to football in Europe.

But in may be some while before cricketing nations send their national teams to play in Pakistan.

Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were due to co-host the 2011 World Cup, but Pakistan may now be removed from the equation.

Cricket terror attack: England cricket hero Chris Broad saves umpire as gunmen kill six

3/03/2009 (external - login to view)

Air-lift: Sri Lanka's Test stars are loaded on to a Pakistan military helicopter at the Gaddafi Stadium yesterday

England cricketer Stuart Broad today revealed his hero father Chris Broad had witnessed things "he never wanted to see" during the terrorist attack in Lahore.

Broad senior, 51, was following the Sri Lankan team's coach when it was ambushed by a dozen masked gunmen close to the Gaddafi Stadium, where day three of the second Test against Pakistan was due to take place.

Broad, a former England opening batsman and now an International Cricket Council match referee, threw himself on top of a local umpire when they too came under fire.

At least five policemen lost their lives in the gun siege during which Broad covered injured Pakistani umpire Ahsan Raza with his own body. Raza had been shot and Broad was trying to protect him from more bullets.

"My dad saw things that he never expected to see and he never wants to see again," said Stuart Broad, who was travelling with the England team to Trinidad from Barbados.

Pakistani policemen inspect a police vehicle after masked gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore

A Pakistani policeman (R) holds an empty rocket launcher

Pakistani policemen inspect a police van

Policemen gather beside the wreckage of a police van

A Pakistani policeman inspects the vehicle

EDHI volunteer covers the body of a policeman

Sri Lankan cricketers (TOPL/R) Ajantha Mendis, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and BOTTOM (L/R) Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana together with team coach Paul Farbrace. (All Pics: Getty)

"It was dreadful. I spoke to him in the early hours of this morning and he was obviously very shook up by it all.

"It has obviously been really heart-breaking for him."

The Test series between the two Asian countries was immediately scrapped in the immediate aftermath of the attack and the Sri Lankan players not requiring hospital treatment were flown out of the ground, where they had taken refuge, by helicopter.

"He got safely out of Pakistan to Abu Dhabi, I think," Stuart Broad, 22, added. "He is safe and well and looking forward to getting back to the UK.

"Not just for my old man, but for the whole of the Sri Lankan side, it is a dreadful thing to have happened.

"Luckily none of them got seriously injured and they've escaped okay.
"It is just an horrific incident and we all feel for them because we can sort of relate to the situation.

"Obviously our condolences go out to the families and loved ones who lost people in the incident."

Former Middlesex and Kent wicketkeeper Paul Farbrace, now assistant coach of Sri Lanka, was among those hurt by flying shrapnel as they lay on the floor of the team coach.

"I exchanged text messages this morning with him," revealed the England and Wales Cricket Board's Hugh Morris.

"Thankfully he is okay.

"Paul used to work for the ECB for 10 years or so, so we're very close to people involved and our players obviously play against the Sri Lankan players on a regular basis.

"We are a small community and when a terrible event like this happens our hearts really go out to them.

"Our thoughts go out to everybody that was caught up in the attack, particularly those who were injured, and the families of those that were killed.

"It was just a shocking day for everybody, particularly those that are involved in cricket."

Sri Lanka in action. Seven of their players were injured, plus their English assistant coach

England were due to participate in the ICC Champions Trophy last September but strong advice from security experts forced the ICC to postpone the event.

"Clearly the security advice was for us not to go there," said Morris.

"We always say that the safety and security of our players is of paramount importance.

"That is the stance of the board and it always will be."

Chris Broad's fury at Pakistani security forces he claims left them "sitting ducks" during terrorist attack

4/03/2009 (external - login to view)

Former England batsman Chris Broad spoke today of his anger towards the Pakistani security forces who he said ran for cover during the terror attack in Lahore.

The Test match referee was in a van with other officials which was targeted along with the Sri Lanka team bus as they travelled to the Gaddafi Stadium.

Speaking at a press conference on his return to the UK, Broad, 51, said: "I am angry at the Pakistani security forces.

"We were promised high level security and in our hour of need that security vanished and they left us to be sitting ducks.

"I am extremely fortunate to be here today.

"I had an inkling before the Test match leg of the tour that something might happen.

"I raised my concerns with the ICC before the tour started and they passed on those concerns to the Pakistan Cricket Board and they assured me through email that all security would be taken care of, presidential-style security. And clearly that didn't happen.

"When we were in the van we weren't aware of what was going on outside. But afterwards when you watch the TV pictures you can clearly see the white van we were in, in the middle of a roundabout and not a sign of a policeman anywhere."

Sri Lankan Cricket team terror attack: Suspects arrested

4/03/2009 (external - login to view)

Pakistani police arrested "some suspects" today in connection with the attack on Sri Lanka's cricket team.

Six police officers and a driver were killed and seven players were wounded in the assault, exposing Pakistan's inability to prevent terrorist attacks.

Lahore police chief Haji Habibur Rehman said today that authorities had detained the suspects.

He gave few details but indicated that none of those detained were the gunmen.

Up to 14 heavily armed and well-trained assailants sprayed the Sri Lankan bus with bullets and fired a rocket and a grenade as it travelled to a match against Pakistan in the eastern city of Lahore yesterday.

The ambush bore many similarities to last year's three-day hostage drama in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai.

Working in pairs, the attackers in Lahore carried walkie-talkies and backpacks stuffed with water, dried fruit and other high-energy food - a sign they anticipated a protracted siege and might have been planning to take the players hostage.

None of the gunmen was killed and all apparently escaped into the teeming city after a 15-minute gun battle with the convoy's security detail.

Besides the six police officers, a driver of a vehicle in the convoy was also killed.

Seven Sri Lankan players, a Pakistani umpire and the team's British assistant coach, Paul Farbace, were wounded.

The bus was peppered with 25 bullet holes in the attack, among the highest-profile terrorist strikes on a sports team since the 1972 Munich Olympics, when Palestinian militants killed 11 Israeli athletes.

Pakistan's Punjab provincial government took out advertisements in newspapers today offering an 89,000 reward.

The ad showed two alleged attackers, one dressed in brown and the other blue, and both carrying backpacks and guns. The image was taken from TV footage of the event.

By targeting a much-loved sport in Pakistan and elsewhere in south Asia, the gunmen were certain to draw international attention to the government's inability to provide basic security as it battles against militants linked to al Qaida and the Taliban and faces accusations that it is harbouring terrorists.

The attack ended Pakistan's hopes of hosting international cricket teams - or any high profile sports events - for months, if not years.

Even before yesterday, most cricket squads chose not to tour the country for security reasons. India and Australia cancelled tours, and New Zealand announced it was calling off its December tour.

The International Cricket Council said it would review Pakistan's status as co-host of the 2011 World Cup.

Authorities cancelled the Test match against Pakistan and a special flight carried the Sri Lanka team - including Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana, who had been treated in hospital for bullet wounds - home, where the exhausted-looking players had an emotional private meeting with their families.

One of the players was taken from the airport to a hospital in Colombo.

Captain Mahela Jayawardene, who was cut on the foot in the attack, said: "I'm very happy that I could see my family, and come back to Sri Lanka in one piece.

Every breath I take I'm glad that I can take it without a problem."

Sri Lankan foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama flew to Pakistan to discuss the incident.

Pakistan has a web of Islamist militant networks, some with links to al Qaida and the Taliban, which have staged other high-profile strikes to destabilise the government and punish it for its support of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Ian Botham: I just don't know how cricket can recover from Pakistan terror

By Sir Ian Botham
4/03/2009 (external - login to view)
The Mirror

Former England star Sir Ian Botham

Where on Earth do we go from here?

The shocking and despicable act of violence on the Sri Lanka cricket team and those surrounding them in Lahore has cut right to the bone, and as far as I'm concerned has completely changed the landscape in that part of the world.

My thoughts and sympathies go straight to the victims and families involved in this disgraceful incident. This is a terrible time for the people of Pakistan, most of whom will be just as horrified by the whole event as I am.

I will say that it is a shocking and horrific attack, but I can't say that it is completely unexpected and, as tough as that is to swallow, we've got to be honest about where we are now.

The terrorists have moved the goalposts and they have crossed a line that will be felt for years to come.

And if nothing up to now has convinced Pakistan to get its house in order, surely this is the catalyst that will make them get seriously tough on the terrorists and bring them to justice.

They must get some kind of stability back in Pakistan or face being isolated indefinitely, which would be a crying shame for almost everyone bar these mad extremists.

If they can start attacking sportsmen and women who have got no political associations whatsoever and who are only there to entertain, then they really have removed themselves from humanity.

This attack will have serious repercussions for the game of cricket, not just in Pakistan, but in India, the rest of the sub-continent and the rest of the cricket playing world.

Firstly no-one will entertain the idea of going to Pakistan for a very, very long time to come. I can't even begin to think about when a side might consider playing there.

There are serious issues for India, bordering Pakistan and suffering with the Mumbai terror attacks so recently. I realise they are two different countries, but the concern over their proximity is a genuine one.

Then there are question marks over who will even play the Pakistan team at home for fear of what might happen by association, neutral venues might be the only place they will get to play from now on.

The cricket fraternity will want to put an arm round the Pakistan cricketers, who just like the vast majority of the people in their country are decent, but the reprisals and repercussions of this are unknown and could be serious.

I'm pleased Australia have suggested they will go ahead with their matches with Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it is a decent show of solidarity for the Pakistan players, who must be distraught at what has happened in their country.

The 2011 World Cup, which is due to be played in all four subcontinent countries, cannot even consider being played in Pakistan and another knock-on effect of this must be concerns over the whole tournament, too.

I'm just baffled by the decision of these cowards to attack defenceless sportsmen.

They go from place to place displaying their skills for anyone who wants to watch.

It is fun, and it is enjoyable, there are no sides to it, so to attack sport is to attack what is good about people.

I'm angry and saddened by what has gone on in Lahore. I genuinely don't know where the game goes from here. There is a new type of terrorist out there who has got a completely different set of rules and it is a scary time for the world.

Cricket is only experiencing a part of what is going on but, now that players and those involved in the game have become targets, the domino effect will be huge - and I don't know where it'll end up.

Attack on Sri Lanka cricket team the darkest day for sports since Munich

By Oliver Holt
4/03/2009 (external - login to view)

Read Oliver Holt's column every Wednesday on

There were people who said that England should not return to India after the Mumbai terrorist atrocities late last year.

People who said it was too risky, that the players could be targets, that the killers would relish the publicity they would gain from killing famous sportsmen.

I never thought that. I always wanted England to go and I wanted to go myself.

It was important to support cricket, I believed, but even more, it was important to support India and the millions and millions who live for the game there.

So I admired the England players when they chose to return to fulfil their Test match obligations in December.

It was a courageous decision. There was little real danger and they were well protected but even before what happened in Lahore yesterday, it was still a risk.

Enough for me to check shame-facedly if there was an escape route whenever I went into a bar.

Enough to gaze at packed buses in the choked streets of Chennai and imagine the devastation a bomb would cause on one of them.

Nothing happened in India.

There was never any hint of a threat. And the First Test in Chennai was just about the most uplifting sporting event I have ever witnessed.

When Sachin Tendulkar, the Little Master of Mumbai, hit India's winning runs at the end of an epic innings, it seemed like the kind of defiant answer to the terrorists who had attacked his city that only sport could conjure. It felt as though a nation's obsession with cricket had been vindicated and rewarded.

Caught in the moment, it felt as if cricket had come to the rescue.

But then yesterday happened. And the fact is that the murderous attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore is a terrible setback that cricket cannot make better.

Yesterday wasn't about an isolated nutter like Gunter Parche stabbing Monica Seles.

It wasn't about a loon running on to the marathon course at the Athens Olympics and trying to tackle one of the runners.

This was an organised attack by a well-armed terrorist group that was specifically aimed at a visiting sporting team.

It marked a terrible departure for sport, a new era of fear and paranoia.

It makes the epidemic of aggravated burglaries visited upon our footballers and their families look like child's play. It's the final confirmation that the last remnants of sport's innocence have been crushed by coldhearted killers.

Sportsmen are, quite literally, there to be shot at now. They are on a par with presidents and pop stars as targets for assassination.

Let's be honest about yesterday: it was almost the darkest day for sport since Black September murdered 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the Munich Olympics in 1972. If a missile from a rocket launcher had gone a few feet lower instead of whooshing over the windscreen of the Sri Lanka team coach and a hand grenade had exploded underneath it instead of malfunctioning, most of an international cricket side would be lying dead in a Lahore morgue.

As it is, policemen were killed and several players and officials were injured. So cricket can't come to the rescue this time.

Sadly, the lessons to be drawn from yesterday's attacks are unambiguous.

I travelled to Karachi and Lahore on England's tour in 2000 and I loved what I saw of the country then.

But the hotel where I stayed in Karachi was hit by a suicide bomb in 2002 when the New Zealand cricket team were guests there, and there have been numerous other scares.

Now there is this and, even though I understand the calls to support Pakistani cricket in the months ahead, there have to be limits to that support.

Asking any sportsman to travel to the country now is no longer an option.

Which means that in a sport that is hardly awash with competitive nations, one of the main players lies mortally wounded.

Yesterday in Pakistan, terrorism declared war on sport. And if sometimes we talk glibly about 'the death of sport' as it sighs and groans under the assault of commercialism, cheating and greed, we know now that this is something different altogether.

Because of the events that unfolded at the Liberty Roundabout in Lahore yesterday, the games we love and cherish face a greater threat today than ever.
Last edited by Blackleaf; Mar 4th, 2009 at 11:03 AM..
There are cricket stars? Jiminy Cricket?
Used to hate crickets! They'd get in my sugar until I learnt to put a lid on the bowl!
It is terrible that terrorism has turn on sports.

Sports were always away to get peoples mind off of this warfare.

Cricket is a sport I really don’t understand is it supposed to be the mini version of baseball maybe someone can explain it.
Cricket is a game with eleven players each. In that respect, it's like American football.

Former England batsman Chris Broad spoke today of his anger towards the Pakistani security forces who he said ran for cover during the terror attack in Lahore.


saw the police constable on CBC News last night.....the attack started.....he said he was so terrified he started praying.

Perhaps he should have started SHOOTING!
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