Venue: Al Nazariya broadcast station.
Announcer: I regret to interrupt the regular programming to bring to you a video recording from the group who claim responsibility for the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team
“Greetings. I am forced to address you in this heathen language as you would not understand the exalted language of the prophet. We, members of the Death-to-the-heathens are the ones responsible for the attack on the SL cricket team. You may wish to know the reasons why we have embarked on this jihad. We are morally, socially, economically, ecologically, religiously justified for this attack.
Morally justified because this is a game that is being played by just one Muslim nation
Socially justified because we believe cricket leads our youth astray. How else can you explain the fact that there are so many people chasing a ball.
Economically justified as it is India which reaps maximum benefit from matches and not Pakistan and anything that is good for India is wrong.
Ecologically justified as the pitches that were being used in this series would have caused the extinction of bowlers and it is out supreme duty to protect the rich tradition of Pakistan fast bowlers
Religiously justified as this was a game that is played by the non-believers. The Sri Lankan team was made up of non-believers and it is our supreme duty to prevent any contact with them.
Consider this a warning. DO NOT VISIT PAKISTAN. We blame faulty American devices that it just turned out to be a warning as the grenades didn’t explode and the rocket was off target. But cricket can continue in Pakistan as long as it is played with believers, played with a ball for everyone, not televised in India. We do not care for the track as we will shell it anyways to ensure that it is a level playing field so that bowlers can thrive. And may god protect all of you.”
While the above was meant to be light-hearted, it can in no way fully explain the feeling that coursed in me when I happened to catch the news about the attack on the SL team. I have always felt that teams were avoiding Pakistan unjustly as in a country where cricket is a religion and followed so passionately, cricketers could never really be in any danger. It took a dozen terrorists to shatter that illusion and ensure that it would take ages for cricket to return to Pakistan.
While I was not even born when the Munich massacre took place in 1972, everytime I read about it, I cant help shuddering. However, there are differences. The Munich attack was an attack on Israel per se while this attack can only be described as one without any reason apart from ensuring that Pakistan becomes even more of a pariah than usual. This was a take-no-prisoners attack and utterly pointless.
Imagine the plight of the SL cricketers. They volunteer to play in Pakistan, are promised presidential level security, are given a lax security and then see their own team mates being injured. Even LTTE does not harm them. It supports the team across matches.
It is indeed a shame and the terrorists have got exactly what they wanted. Sportsman are not targets has been said often and the illusion was shattered, quite harshly. Which sports person in his right mind would want to visit Pakistan within the next 2 years? Its a shame indeed.
PS: Apologies if I have offended anyone in the 1st part of this post. No offense was intended