The Lahore ambush attack on Sri Lankan cricket team en route to Gaddafi Stadium, being the first for cricketing world was shell shocking and has quite a few implications-
1. Not very unusually we will start with a hindsight ! – Security for the cricketers was lacking. Given the significance any tour to Pakistan has due to teams objecting to tour Pakistan because of security reasons, any tour becomes high profile from the security point of view. It is hard to believe that the security provided was ‘ presidential level’ and that was what it was supposed to be.
2. It puts serious question marks over other teams touring Pakistan in near future. Bangladesh and New Zealand have already called off their tour to Pakistan. Bilateral tournament in neutral venues seem to be the best option as of now. How long is ‘near future’ depends a lot on political and administrative stability in Pakistan but it could be anything between 2 to 4 years.
3. Expect some hiccups for world cup 2011, especially the matches which are to be hosted in Pakistan, you can always argue either way but chances are pretty bleak that Pakistan will host them. These will have to be shifted to other countries in the sub continent. India being the foremost choice. With respect to India I believe given monetary clout of BCCI and past security history (note the order!) they will be able to convince other boards about extra security. More so because , IPL for this year doesn’t seem to have run into lot of roadblocks (other than the ones due to general election in India) and in all likelihood will take place with minor changes.
4. As for other tournaments in India, and given the England came after Mumbai attack – it seems that will continue same way, unless God forbid something unpleasant happens.
5. Primary point is this though - this state of Pakistan Govt and cricket administration is bad for Pakistan cricket and world cricket. You can argue that Pakistan is very often an unpredictable and inconsistent team but can’t deny the fact that they produce extra ordinary talents. Cricket would have been poorer without Javed Miadad’s street smartness, Imran Khan’s cricketing acumen ,Waqar Younis’s rawness, Wasim Akram’s genius, Saqlin Mustaq’s doosra and Sohaib Akhtar’s flair. World deserves more of them. We can only hope that the situation in Pakistan improves.