An attack that changed the game

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 March, 2009, 12:00am

The shocking attack on the Sri Lankans in Lahore was an attempt to kill a cricket team that was simply going about playing a game in a dangerous place. It makes you wonder whether professional sport isn't under threat worldwide.

In Australia, for example, several sports share the limelight. But in South Asia, cricket is the most popular sport. Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans and Bangladeshis are all extremely proud of their cricket teams.

Was cricket the target or was it a convenient method of spreading a wider, terrifying message that no one is safe? International cricket in Pakistan is now off the agenda. Australia has not toured Pakistan since 1998.

Sport can create passion, anger, delight and despair. It can be uplifting and it often reveals the best that humanity has to offer. But the Lahore outrage changed cricket. It will survive but it will never be quite the same.

Gurlal Singh, California School

From the Editor

Thanks for your letter, Gurlal. The attacks on the visiting cricket teams in Pakistan have certainly shocked the sporting world. The attack and the ones preceding it shows that extremists are now turning their attention to soft targets instead of their usual police and government offices.

Cricket is almost a religion in some parts of Asia and there is no doubt that this attack has struck deeply at the core of fans' psyche. It has also made Pakistan a cricketing pariah, which of course means local fans will not get to see the international greats competing there.

Many Asian countries are experiencing the turmoil of civil war. Sport is one of those sectors of society which should be above all of that. Sport is a great unifier of people from all parts of the world, from all walks of life.

Perhaps that unity is what the terrorists were seeking to destroy.

One can only hope that they are not successful.

Susan, Editor