Lankan cricket coach Bayliss fears terrorists could target Commonwealth Games

March 10th, 2009 - 2:37 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Mar.10 (ANI): Sri Lankan cricket coach and former NSW cricketer Trevor Bayliss has expressed fears that next year’’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi could be targetted by terrorists.
Speaking to reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Bayliss said that last Tuesday’’s terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team proved the reach and audacity of terrorists.
“If cricket, the No.1 sport on the subcontinent can get hit, then any sport I suppose can get hit … the Commonwealth Games maybe,” The Age quoted him, as saying.
Bayliss also said that he has “no problems” coaching in Sri Lanka and may extend his time, despite narrowly escaping with his life in last week’’s terrorist attack in Lahore.
Bayliss, 47, was yesterday reunited with his family in Sydney for the first time, almost a week after the deadly attacks.
The former NSW batsman said that, while he had yet to discuss his coaching future with his family, he was keen to continue mentoring the Sri Lankan team.
“I wouldn”t have any problem doing another term in Sri Lanka. I feel very comfortable in Sri Lanka and think we”ve done pretty well over the last 18 months we”ve been there,” he said.
“Whether I”d go back on tour in Pakistan … I doubt that very much.”
Bayliss said he had not suffered from flashbacks nor been haunted by his ordeal, and joked about having three extra weeks with his family at home as a result of the curtailed tour of Pakistan.
Bayliss backed the criticisms of security made by umpiring officials, whose van - which carried Australians Simon Taufel and Steve Davis - had trailed the Sri Lankan team bus and was also attacked.
Bayliss said he was angry that security had been noticeably less than during previous tours to Pakistan, and that the lapse had still not been explained.
The wounded Sri Lankan players were recovering well, and Bayliss was grateful the team had no cricket until the Twenty20 World Cup in June.
“Physically everyone will recover, but I suppose it’’s the mental scars and how they”ll get over that [that remain to be seen],” he said.
Bayliss urged cricket playing nations to remain dedicated to touring overseas, so the game would survive.
“I think the Sri Lankan players … most of them are fairly keen that cricket must continue and that terrorism can”t stop sport, and that we must show a united front. If we don”t go to some of those places to play cricket … then international cricket and cricket in those countries will suffer.”
At the same time, it would take a lot for him to return to Pakistan.
Outside the ground, his wife Julie Bayliss said she was glad to have her husband home but would be OK with him returning to Sri Lanka. (ANI)

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