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  1. #1
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    On This Day: March 3, 2009 - Sri Lanka Test team comes under terrorist attack in Lahore

    According to the officials, 12 gunmen were hiding near Liberty Square, in the centre of Lahore, waiting for the Sri Lankan team to pass on their way to the Gaddafi stadium. When the bus crossed the road they started firing, targeting the bus. The Pakistan police escorting the team returned fire; in the ensuing fighting, six policemen and two civilians died. After about 20 minutes, the militants fled, leaving behind rocket launchers and grenades.[11]

    The gunmen had first targeted the wheels of the bus, and then had fired at the bus and its occupants.[19] The attackers had fired a rocket at the bus, which missed and hit a nearby electric pole. The driver of the bus, Mehar Mohammad Khalil, had then kept on driving a distance of about 500 metres (1,600 ft) until they reached the stadium. Khalil was hailed as a hero for his bravery.[20][21] The attackers had also thrown a grenade under the bus, which exploded after the bus had passed over it.[22]

    A minivan following the team bus carrying the match referee and umpires was also fired upon and the driver was killed.[23] Simon Taufel, Steve Davis, Nadeem Ghauri, Ahsan Raza, umpires performance manager Peter Manuel, liaison officer Abdul Sami and ICC match referee Chris Broad were in this minivan. The minivan was subsequently allegedly abandoned by security personnel and no bullets were fired by the security forces for twenty minutes. Chris Broad threw himself over and kept his hand on the chest of Ahsan Raza to slow down the profuse bleeding from a bullet injury. A police officer who climbed into the minivan to seek cover drove the minivan to safety.

    Security cameras captured footage of several gunmen carrying automatic weapons and backpacks, firing on the convoy from the Liberty Square roundabout.[24] They were later seen jogging up the street and escaping on motorcycles.[25] The video was broadcast around the world presenting pictures of the attacks.[17] CCTV footage has been made public.[26] They arrived at 8:39 am local time and left at 8:46 am.[26] The attackers were armed with AK-47 assault rifles, hand grenades, RPG launchers, claymores and explosive charges.[10][27]

    The Sri Lankan team were then taken to the stadium and airlifted from the pitch via Pakistan Air Force Mil Mi-17 helicopters,[28] and immediate arrangements were made for the Sri Lankan team to return to Colombo on the next available flight.[29] The second Test, which was the last scheduled fixture of the tour, was abandoned as a draw.[30]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_a...l_cricket_team


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  2. #2
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    Darkest day in the History of Cricket

  3. #3
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    This and Phillip Hughes's death, the worst two days for me as a fan of the game.


    If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasn't arrived yet: Viv Richards

  4. #4
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    Remember this day, I was at work ...

    Couldn't believe something like this actually happened to cricketers

  5. #5
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    It may seem like a long time, but for Pakistan cricket fans, March 3 is a day to forget. On this day, nine years ago, the visiting Sri Lankan team bus was attacked on its way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, leaving a few Lankan cricketers injured.

    Panic set in and the cricket fraternity began to ponder if it would be wise to continue cricketing activities in Pakistan. But for millions of cricket fans and thousands of cricketers, it was the beginning of a form of alienation that still continues to haunt cricket in the country.

    Though a considerable amount of time has passed since the attack, most of the Sri Lankan cricketers of that team, even today, choose to stay mum on the issue — making it clear that they would not like to think about that terror-struck morning. Its the same case among the Pakistani cricketers too — both past and present — as they tend to stay away from that gruesome incident. However, they unanimously agree that the fateful morning inflicted widespread damage to Pakistan’s cricket.

    “The young cricketers were worst hit. They had nothing to look forward to, and with no international cricket at home, they have not been able to show their talents,” former Pakistan spinner, Danish Kaneria, who was a member of the Pakistan side during that Test against Sri Lanka in 2009, tells Sportstar.

    The leggie still remembers each moment from that morning. “We were getting ready to reach the stadium and the Sri Lankan team left five minutes before us, and then it all happened. We all were scared,” Kaneria says, adding that the incident tore apart the cricketing culture of the country. “People of Pakistan love cricket and they can’t see international teams play. That incident damaged Pakistan cricket,” he adds.

    Even former International Cricket Council (ICC) chief, Ehsan Mani, who hails from Pakistan, agrees that the Lahore attack has done ‘terrible damage to the game in the country’.

    “There’s no doubt about it. Even until recently, there were no teams going to Pakistan. It deprives fans of international cricket, and the youngsters too suffer. Promoting the game has also affected in the process,” Mani says.

    The seasoned administrator, however, believes that the situation is improving immensely. “I spend lot of time in Pakistan, and I can see things improving. Even today, if India plays Pakistan, there would be no security issues,” Mani says, adding that the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has aided in improving the situation.

    While Pakistan maintained its cricketing activities, most of it was in the United Arab Emirates, where the Pakistan Super League is currently being held. With some of the biggest names involved in the tournament, the expectations were high even before the tournament got underway. But to everyone’s surprise, the stands have been empty and there has hardly been any turnout even for the crucial clashes.

    “Look, had PSL been held in Pakistan in the first year itself, overseas players would have been reluctant to go. What happened last year, that with a couple of matches, players were prepared to go to Pakistan. There’s no quick fix solution to this. A player wants to play in a pressure-free zone and that can only happen with long-term confidence building. It’s just got to continue, important steps in the right direction,” Mani said.

    In an interview with Sportstar recently, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief, Najam Sethi, had hoped to conduct all the games of the PSL in Pakistan next year. “Eventually, that’s what you have to do to survive,” Sethi had said. And now, with international players too relenting from their stance of not travelling to Pakistan, it looks like a possibility.

    http://www.sportstarlive.com/cricket...le22917861.ece


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  6. #6
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    The thing was this attack was after the assurance was given by Pakistan that security will be provided, but unfortunately had it not been for the driver it would have been a bigger mess, and Lanka took place of India after later backed out Imagine the repercussions if the incident took place if it was team India in place of Lanka.

  7. #7
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    Cricket's darkest day. Remember it was my brother who told us, and he doesn't care about cricket at all. I was too young to understand the situation properly though but I can imagine if I was older how sad I was feeling and I can imagine what all the cricket fans who were older than me were feeling when something like that happened.

  8. #8
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    A dark day for cricket.

  9. #9
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    I was too young but understood the gravity of the situation because of the shock my dad was in when this was all over the news. Very sad day for the cricketing fraternity.

  10. #10
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    A horrible day - a day of infamy for Pakistan and its cricket.


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  11. #11
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    Terrible day for the country. It did enormous damage to the country's image and diplomatic standing, it wasn't just a bad day for cricket. Failure on the part of the government and the intelligence services.


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