Pakistan’s chances of co-hosting the 2011 World Cup have almost certainly disappeared after Tuesday’s militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus,according to three of the country’s former captains.
“I don’t see the International Cricket Council (ICC) allowing World Cup matches to be held in Pakistan now. It is gone,” said former skipper Waqar Younis shortly after six players were wounded and five policemen killed in the ambush.
Waqar,who is acting as a commentator for the Test series,was metres away from the Sri Lankan coach when the attack took place as the vehicle approached the stadium.
“It was all so sudden. It is a big tragedy something like this should never have happened,” he added.
“We talk about foreign teams coming to Pakistan… providing them top security. After what happened today,I don’t see any team coming to Pakistan for a while.”
Waqar’s sentiments were echoed by another former captain,Javed Miandad,who believes the attack was a massive body blow to Pakistan cricket.
“It is going to be very difficult for us to now convince teams that they can play the World Cup in Pakistan safely,” he said.
The ICC has said it would take 48 hours to decide whether to keep the next World Cup in Asia,where Pakistan,India,Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are scheduled to co-host the event.
Waqar pointed out that with the security situation in Sri Lanka also considered as volatile,he expected the ICC to take the World Cup away from the sub-continent.
A third former captain,Rashid Latif,said he was shocked by the events in Lahore. “Cricketers have never been attacked in Pakistan despite what the situation has been in the country. Today is a black day for Pakistan cricket and Pakistan,” he said.