‘Lack of security left us sitting ducks’

– Broad

LONDON, (Reuters) – International Cricket Council  (ICC) match referee Chris Broad said he and colleagues were left  like “sitting ducks” by a lack of security in Tuesday’s attack  on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore that left six players injured.

Chris Broad
Chris Broad

Broad, travelling behind in a bus whose driver was killed,  raised security concerns before the tour to Pakistan but said  the protection he had been promised was not provided.

“There was not a sign of a policeman anywhere. They had  clearly gone, left the scene and left us to be sitting ducks,”  he told a news conference in Manchester  yesterday after  flying home.

“I am extremely angry we were promised high level security  and in our hour of need that security vanished,” added former  England batsman Broad. “I am very angry with the Pakistan  security forces.”

The driver of Broad’s bus was one of seven people killed in  the attack as the players and match officials were making their  way to the Gaddafi stadium for the third day of the second test.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ejaz Butt said he was  disappointed with Broad’s remarks.

“I don’t know how he can say there was no proper security  because don’t forget six brave policemen sacrificed their lives  in the incident,” he said.

Butt told Reuters the policemen had been killed trying to  protect the Sri Lankan team and the match officials.

Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan  also defended the level of security.

“The standard of security was high class,” he told BBC  radio. “There were five mobile vans carrying… armed policemen  with them, and they were following them, along with them, and  there was also an ambulance.

“And the driver was competent enough to dash the coach into  the stadium to save all these players.”

PCB HEADQUARTERS

The Gaddafi stadium is also the headquarters of the PCB.
Broad said he became worried about safety after the ICC  decided not to stage the 2009 Champions Trophy in Pakistan due  to security concerns.

“I had an inkling before the test match leg of the tour that  something might happen,” Broad said. “(The PCB) assured me  through email that all security would be taken care of,  presidential style security, and clearly that didn’t happen.”

Broad, still appearing visibly shaken by the attack, said he  felt shocked and saddened.

“We are extremely lucky to be here today,” he said,  describing how he lay on the floor of his bus behind critically  injured Pakistani umpire Ahsan Raza as bullets flew around them.

“I think we all had the same feeling that we were just  waiting for a bullet to hit us.”

Broad said he could not see cricket returning to Pakistan in  the foreseeable future.

“This has put a bit of a nail in the coffin of cricket in  Pakistan,” he added.

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