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When Cricket Suffered Due to Terror Attacks



Cricketnext looks at some of the previous unfortunate incidents where major series had been affected by such incidents.

Friday (March 15) turned out to be a nightmarish day for New Zealand with a terror attack killing several people in Christchurch. The Bangladesh cricket team narrowly escaped the attack, after which the third Test against New Zealand scheduled to begin on Saturday was called off.

This wasn't the first time a terrorist attack affected a cricket series. Cricketnext looks at some of the previous unfortunate incidents where major series had been affected by such incidents.

1987 and 1992: New Zealand leave tours of Sri Lanka

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

New Zealand were in the middle of a three-Test series in Sri Lanka when a bomb exploded near their team hotel in Colombo, killing more than a 100 people. The New Zealand players were safe, but the incident forced them to cancel the series after the first Test.

A similar incident five years later resulted in New Zealand leaving Sri Lanka once again.

2002: New Zealand leave Pakistan after Karachi attack

New Zealand's cricket team faced another such incident when a bomb exploded outside their team hotel in Karachi, killing 12 people. The players were not hurt but Dayle Shackel, the physio, received a minor cut to his forearm from a flying piece of glass.

New Zealand had already lost the Test series and the first three ODIs before the incident.

2008: England leave India after 26/11 attack in Mumbai, Champions League postponed

India had just defeated England in the fifth ODI for a 5-0 win in the seven-match series when the terror attack in Mumbai shook the nation. The remaining two matches of the series were called off and England flew back home. However, they returned for the two-Test series the following month with the second Test moved out of Mumbai.

The first edition of the Champions League tournament, which is now defunct, was also deferred due to the Mumbai attacks.

2009: Terrorists attack Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore

A file photo of Gaddafi stadium during the attack. (Reuters Image)

For perhaps the first time, cricketers became the target of a terror attack when terrorists aimed at their team bus in Lahore. The Sri Lankan team was on their way to the Gadaffi stadium when terrorists fired at the bus with guns and hand grenades.

Seven people lost their lives and several Sri Lankan players were injured. The team was airlifted from the stadium and taken safely to Sri Lanka.

The attack cost Pakistan big as teams stopped touring the country. Pakistan were forced to move their 'home' to United Arab Emirates. Zimbabwe had a short tour in 2015 and Windies too travelled there two years later, but ten years since the attack, teams are still reluctant to tour Pakistan.

first published:March 15, 2019, 21:33 IST