Get the app

Bayliss, Farbrace Voice Pakistan Hopes on Anniversary of Lahore Attack

Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace hope Pakistan can regularly host international cricket again, 10 years after the pair came under fire during a deadly attack in Lahore that left the country a no-go zone for sporting teams.

AFP |March 3, 2019, 12:23 PM IST
Bayliss, Farbrace Voice Pakistan Hopes on Anniversary of Lahore Attack

London: Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace hope Pakistan can regularly host international cricket again, 10 years after the pair came under fire during a deadly attack in Lahore that left the country a no-go zone for sporting teams.

It was on March 3, 2009 that Sri Lanka's team bus, taking the team to the Gaddafi Stadium for a Test against Pakistan, was hit by bullets and grenades in an attack by armed militants.

Eight police and bystanders were killed, with six others wounded in the incident.

England coach Bayliss and assistant Farbrace were both carrying out similar roles with Sri Lanka at the time.

"I was cleaning my sunglasses, and the next thing, the bus jolted," Farbrace, who saw a piece of shrapnel draw blood when it struck his arm, told a BBC Test Match Special podcast marking the 10-year anniversary of the attack.

"I just turned and looked over my shoulder, looked out the window -- I could see this guy moving towards us with a gun, firing this gun."

It was six years until an international team visited again, with Pakistan forced to play the majority of their home games in the United Arab Emirates -- a situation that continues to this day.

Minnows Zimbabwe were the first to venture into Pakistan after the attack, playing two Twenty20 and three one-day internationals in 2015.

Under heavy security, Sri Lanka made an emotional return to the Gaddafi Stadium for a one-off Twenty20 international in October 2017. The West Indies also played three Twenty20 internationals in Karachi last May.

- No place like home -

"I honestly hope -- I've always hoped -- that international cricket will return to Pakistan," said Farbrace.

"It's a tough place to play cricket, but it's an unbelievably passionate country for the game of cricket.

"The sadness for me is that you've got players now playing international cricket for Pakistan -- there will be players that have played their entire career, international cricket for Pakistan -- and never played a game in their own country.

"For me there's almost a bit of unfinished business, and for me to go back there, and see international cricket played in Lahore -- for the people that lost their lives, I think that would be, for them, to show that terrorism hasn't stopped the game of cricket going ahead."

Bayliss, who said Pakistan cricket fans were "some of the best in the world", endorsed former Kent and Middlesex wicketkeeper Farbrace's comments.

"Hopefully cricket does get back there," Bayliss said.

As for his own memory of the attack, Bayliss said: "It was very calm. The only thing that was being said was on the bus, and no louder than this, was 'oh, I'm hit', 'oh, so am I', as the bullets were flying through and a bit of shrapnel.

"The calmness was the thing that stood out for me."

Related stories

Cricketnext Staff | January 1, 1970, 5:30 AM IST

Also Watch

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 India 8411 263
4 Australia 5471 261
5 South Africa 4407 259
see more