Pakistan put to shame by terrorists, say former captains (Lead)

March 3rd, 2009 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Lahore, March 3 (IANS) Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has said the terror-attack on Sri Lankan cricketers here Tuesday has made the hosting of the 2011 World Cup a distant dream for the country, thus echoing the sentiments of other former captains.

Inzamam-ul-Haq and Rameez Raja condemned the attack here, fearing the incident will further damage Pakistan’s position as an international cricket destination.

Pakistan were to co-host 2011 World Cup with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Akram said the attacks have put Pakistan to shame.

“How do you expect foreign teams to come to Pakistan now? We took pride in hosting our guests. This image has taken a beating. It’s sad for Pakistan,” he said.

“The attacks are unwarranted and have put Pakistan to shame. I can see a similar hand working in Mumbai and India must now know that Pakistan are equally at the receiving end,” Akram said.

Raja, a former captain and Test opener, told a TV channel that he was left speechless after hearing about the incident.

He said the people of Pakistan will have to come out and condemn terrorism to ensure that such things do not happen again.

“It’s an unbelievable incident,” said Raja, who was covering the two-match Test series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka as a commentator. “Nobody expected cricketers to be attacked in Pakistan but this has happened and is making our hearts bleed.”

He said the terrorists have attacked the Pakistani way of life by attacking the national pastime - cricket.

Inzamam feared no country would like to visit Pakistan now.

“This is the first time that a cricket team has been seriously targeted… Pakistan’s image will be hit and only time will tell how much damage has been done to Pakistan cricket. The World Cup too might be affected… no country would want to come now to Pakistan… I am worried where Pakistan will get a chance to play, not only in Pakistan but outside as well. This is all so sad,” said Inzamam.

Six Sri Lankan cricketers were injured in the attack that left eight people, including six policemen, dead.

Another former captain Saleem Malik feared for the future of cricket in Pakistan. “This is a very, very bad incident which will seriously affect Pakistan cricket,” he said.

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