A decade back when the Australian team refused to tour Sri Lanka due to the unstable situation in the country, and the South African team cut their tour short after a bomb blast in Colombo, the blind patriots and cricket pundits in the country started taking pot shots at the Australians and the South Africans. To them, bomb blasts and violence was as natural as the plain tea and rice they had everyday. If you happened to die from a bomb blast, it was due to fate and something beyond your control. And God have mercy on the country or individual who said that Sri Lanka was not a safe country. The wrath of the majority would be turned against that country or individual. (Still now after the end of bloody war, The political scene of the country is changing its trend from Democracy to Autocratic oligarchy. Anyone who speaks against the government will simply vanish)
Even after ICC had done a threat assessment and decided that it was not safe for any cricket team to travel to Pakistan; and even after the Mini World Cup had been cancelled in Pakistan by the ICC after another threat assessment had been done, the Sri Lankan Cricket Board and the Sri Lankan Government decided to tour Pakistan. The result was the attack on the Sri Lankan Cricketers, and if not for a brave Pakistani driver, there might have been a bigger disaster than what took place.
Though South Africans and the Australians along with Shane Warne who were vilified in the government press a few years ago, they failed to criticise the recklessness of the Pakistani government and the PCB.
There were probably two reasons that the SL Cricket Board and the Sri Lankan Government agreed to tour Pakistan and tolerated this issue. In the case of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board it was for monetary reasons, and in the case of the Sri Lankan Government, it was to thank the Pakistani Government for selling them arms to fight the terrorism. Sri Lanka poured millions of dollars on the Pakistanian weapon market and Sri Lankan Airforce K-Fir fighter jets were maanned by Pakistanian airforce officers. It’s therefore obvious that the Sri Lanka Cricket Board was only thinking of filling its empty coffers, and the Sri Lankan Government was willing to put its cricketers at risk to curry favour with the Pakistani’s.
What nobody knows is whether the attack on the innocent Sri Lankan cricketers by an unidentified group, could have been a ‘proxy attack’ on behalf of the LTTE or the Government of India. In the case of the LTTE it could have been in revenge for shelling and multi barrel rocket attacks by the Pakistanian-Sri Lankan Government, and in the case of India, it could be in revenge for the Mumbai attacks. This is mere speculation, but anything is possible in this hypocritical world we live in today.
One good thing that may come out of the attack is that in future if countries like Australia, South Africa, England or New Zealand decide to cancel a tour due to security reasons, countries like Sri Lanka will think twice before trying to vilify those countries. People in the above mentioned countries value the lives of their citizens more than in countries like Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan. If such an attack, which occurred against the Sri Lankan cricket team, happened to any of the teams of the above- mentioned countries, heads would have rolled and people responsible for organising the tour would have voluntarily resigned. But in Sri Lanka, its business as usual with bribery, corruption and kickbacks from arms deals going full speed ahead.
If there was money to be made, the Sri Lanka Cricket Board would organise a tour to even the North Pole, and the Sri Lankan Government would send the cricket team to Somalia or Central African republic or Uganda if those countries were willing to sell them arms and ammunition.
As long as India does not stop it’s oppression against the Kashmir population, and as long as various terrorist and proxy-terrorist groups operate in Pakistan, there is going to be security threats to all cricket teams that tour these countries. Even after half a decade the Pakistanian government has failed to bring the culprits to justice. For this ICC should not lift the ban against Pakistan and future cricket tours should probably take place in neutral venues like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. its better to be safe than sorry.