Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tragedy in Pakistan

Thanks to Chris Courtney of Letters From Vagabondia for bringing this story to light.
Sri Lankan are crazy about volleyball but their national cricket team is widely followed, having developed itself into a global power, winning the 1996 World Cup and winning the Asian Cup in 1996 and 2004. The island nation of 20 million has had its share of troubles in dealing with an ongoing insurgency and being hit hard by the 2004 tsunami but when the Lions take the field, they always have something to cheer for.

Today, on their way into the stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, the team bus was ambushed for a sustained 30 minutes in an attack which killed five policemen and injured eight Sri Lankan national team players, coaches, and an umpire. To put yourself into a Sri Lankan sports fan's shoes, this was like having the American national basketball, soccer and baseball teams attacked and injured while on their way to a match abroad against a top opponent.
I admit, I barely know anything about cricket and don't pretend that I do. But, there is no call for this kind of behavior anywhere in the world.

Yes, sports are supposed to "transcend" political disputes, but we know they don't. If you want protest at a sporting event, fine, but let the athletes move about in peace and security.

I join Chris in saluting the Pakistani policemen who died defending a sports team from another country--their actions go above and beyond the call.

My condolences to everyone injured and the families of those slain by these terrorists.

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