Attack on Sri Lankans making our hearts bleed: Pakistan’s ex-skippers

By Omar Khalid, IANS,

Lahore : Former captains of the Pakistan cricket team Tuesday condemned the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers here, fearing the incident will further damage Pakistan’s position as an international cricket destination.

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Ramiz 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.”

Raja said the terrorists have attacked the Pakistani way of life by attacking the national pastime – cricket.

Six Sri Lankan cricketers were injured in the attack that left at least five policemen dead.

Inzamam-ul-Haq, another former Pakistan captain, feared that the Lahore incident can affect Pakistan’s position as one of the co-hosts of the 2011 World Cup.

“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.

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.