WICB: Sad moment for world cricket

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is saddened by the attacks in Lahore, Pakistan on Tuesday which left several members of the Sri Lanka cricket team injured and security officers dead.

Speaking on Tuesday morning (Caribbean Time), Dr Julian Hunte, President of the WICB, said it was a sad moment for world cricket and expressed condolences to the families of those who died.

“This is a sad day for international cricket and a sad day for Pakistan cricket. The people of Pakistan will now be denied international cricket for the foreseeable future. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the members of the Sri Lanka team and we wish them well. We thank God no members of the team were killed. We also want to express condolences to the families of the security forces who died while trying to protect the Sri Lanka players, the team staff and team officials,” Dr Hunte said.

“This will also deal a serious blow to cricket lovers in Pakistan who will be deprived of cricket in the foreseeable future. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) must be devastated at the prospect of not being able to host international matches. This now puts the PCB in a difficult position to develop the game in their country.”

Dr Hunte added: “The attacks prove that the ICC was wise not to schedule the 2009 Champions Trophy there, after having postponed the tournament in 2008 for security reasons. The WICB took the decision in collaboration with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) not to attend the 2008 tournament for security. In hindsight it was a very wise decision.”

“All Test-playing nations must ensure that security is priority Number One - in our area of the world as well. Before, it was felt that cricketers were not being targeted regardless of what was going on in Pakistan. There was a level of comfort.

“This now blows that away and it means cricketers are being seen as targets. It is a matter we cannot ignore, and we must ensure the safety of players and everyone else involved in this beautiful game.”