ICC Match Referee Chris Broad ‘angry’ over lack of security in Pakistan


ICC Match Referee Chris Broad has arrived back in England and speaking at a news conference in Manchester, he spoke of his shock, sadness and anger following the terrorist attacks that he was caught up in Lahore.

He went on to express disappointment that the high levels of security that had been promised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) failed them when he and his colleagues needed it most.

Eight people were killed and several others, including Sri Lankan players, injured as around 14 gunmen attacked a convoy that was transporting the Sri Lankan squad and match officials to the Gaddafi Stadium yesterday (March 3rd).

Broad, the match referee for the game in Lahore, described his shock at what had happened, his sadness that people were injured and killed, paying tribute to the driver of the bus he was in who was killed, and his anger at the level of security provided by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

“I have three emotions going thur my body at the moment,” he said shortly after arriving at Manchester airport. “The first one is shock – shock at the events that have taken place over the last 24 hours. I, like many people, naively thought that there was no way that terrorists would attack cricket; unfortunately that has changed and cricket has to do something about it. We have to try to put that right.

[Will you put that right, Imran Khan?]

The other emotion is sadness. Clearly sadness for the injured and the killed in this incident, particularly sadness from my point of view for our driver, one of th loveliest men you could have ever wished to see. He always had a smile on his face. He was just doing his job, driving us to the cricket ground and he was murdered by people he didn’t know.

“Clearly there’s sadness for Abdul Sohail Khan, my liaison officer in Pakistan, he was hit by a bullet in the shoulder. And of course, the worst case was Ahsan Raza, our fourh umpire during this Test match who took a bullet. I was behind him on the floor of the van, bullets were flying all around us. I tried to comfort him, placed my hand on his back but he was clearly seriously injured.

Raza has reportedly had surgery on his injuries and is in a critical, but stable condition. Broad then went on to talk of how angry he was that the level of security promised by the PCB was not provided.

“My third emotion is anger. Anger at the Pakistani security forces. I had an inkling before this Test match leg of the tour that something might happen. I certainly didn’t think that this was going to happen but I raised my concerns with the ICC before the tour started. They passed on my concerns to the PCB and the PCB assured me that all security would be taken care of.

“When we were in the van we weren’t aware of what was going on outside. After the incicent we were able to see television pictures – you can quite clearly see the white van we were in next to the ambulance in the middle of this roundabout with terrorists shooting past the van, soemtimes into our van, and not a sign of a policeman anywhere. They had clearly gone, left the scene, and left us to be sitting ducks.

“I am extremely angry that we were promised high-level security and in our hour of need that security vanished.”




Cricket, what cricket?

Pakistan was still trying to absorb the criticism made by the English match referee Chris Broad of the security provided to the Sri Lankan cricket team on March 3, when the two Australian umpires, Simon Taufel and Steve Davis, charged that they were “abandoned” by Pakistani security forces when a dozen gunmen opened fire on them.

Taufel said: “You tell me why supposedly 25 armed commandos were in our convoy and when the team bus got going again we were left on our own. We were isolated, we were left alone, we were unaccounted for, we were not given the same security and the same attention as the playing staff were, I’m angry that when we were in our hour of need we were left on our own”.

There are other questions too which we have to answer as we celebrate our police heroes who laid down their lives but saved the Sri Lankan team from being kidnapped or killed on the spot. They cast doubt on the “intent” behind splitting the two teams in half and thereby halving the security for the Sri Lankans and the umpires who had got ready on time. Those who have been thanking the Providence for the “laziness” of the Pakistani team should pause to see how the world is criticising this mess-up.

The Sri Lankan team manager, Brendan Kuruppu, has brought this up in his remarks too. He said: “On that particular day we had a couple of outriders in front and three or four jeeps in front of us but because the Pakistan team did not come at the same time there was no security back-up from behind our convoy. Generally both teams leave together with the match officials as well in one convoy so we have security cover from all sides of the convoy”.

First, someone plants a crude analysis on CID about how RAW was going to kill the Sri Lankans. The CID swallowed it hook line and sinker. Then the police splits security in half and lets six of its personnel get killed while nothing is known of the action that a detail of over 20 elite force took if it did not run away. What it proves is that even if Pakistan is finally pacified its assurances of security will not be trustworthy for a long time. (Daily Times, 7 March 2009)

2 responses to “ICC Match Referee Chris Broad ‘angry’ over lack of security in Pakistan”

  1. Lapse and collapse: As the days pass and more and more CCTV footage emerges of the Lahore attack the ineptitude of our law enforcement agencies is further exposed. CCTV cameras clearly log the time in every frame they capture; thus it is that we now know that the entire incident lasted around seven minutes, not the thirty minutes as originally recounted by assorted policemen. We now know that a police mobile passed by, in the opposite direction, a motorbike carrying three of the attackers who were visibly still armed at the time. Other footage shows police vehicles in the area, none of them engaged in the business of catching terrorists. We know, because we can see it, that the attackers were casual in their escape, they were in no desperate hurry and secure in the knowledge that nobody was likely to be getting in their way or stopping them to enquire quite what it was that they were up to. Anecdotal reports continue to multiply, many of them contradictory. One speaks of the attackers ‘looking like Pathans’ while another, from a rickshaw driver who picked some of them up, says they spoke with Punjabi accents. Perhaps it was a unit made up of both Pathans and Punjabis – entirely possible given the national recruiting patterns of extremist groups.

    Nobody, thus far, has told us anything of the actions of the surviving police who were guarding the Sri Lankans. These were supposed to be members of an elite unit. Did they engage the assailants? We can see that the gunmen were firing their weapons and the soundtrack indicates several weapons firing at the same time – but the fire appears to be outgoing from the attackers and so far no evidence of incoming fire directed at them has emerged. The promised report on the incident has not yet emerged either and the eternal blame-game continues much as per usual. Foreign hands ‘are not discounted’ by anybody who can get themselves in front of a microphone and to date there has not been a single arrest of any of the attacking group who all remain at large. Foreign reaction by assorted figures ranging from Chris Broad the umpire to the Sri Lankan president has been mixed. Broad has been critical of the Pakistan authorities for failing to provide adequate security, and the Sri Lankan President has been positively statesmanlike in the way he has commented on the affair and its aftermath. About the only person to emerge with his honour intact is the driver of the Sri Lankan teams’ bus. Having taken a couple of rounds through his windscreen and seen a rocket pass by he very sensibly put his foot down and got bus and passengers safely into the stadium – full marks Sir and you deserve whatever good fortune might come your way as a result of your timely actions.

    Not only does it appear that the security arrangements were, to say the very least, somewhat inadequate and poorly coordinated, but once the crime had been committed our law-enforcement officers went about destroying or disturbing the forensic evidence with their usual casual disregard for the preservation of fingerprints (witness the rocket-launcher displayed to the media, and no rubber gloves on the hand of the officer doing the displaying) and other physical evidence that should have been left in situ. All-in-all this is a sorry tale of mismanagement on all sides before, during, and after the incident. Government representatives and police officers were not reading off the same page, there were widely differing statements from all sides, some of them ludicrous, and the general public was once again ill-served by those tasked to protect and govern them. We are increasingly a society under surveillance, especially in the cities. CCTV coverage as well as amateur footage of the Lahore incident has made fools of those who did what they always do and presented their version of ‘reality’ only to be contradicted by a camera mounted on a pole and pointing in the right direction at the right time. It is high time that both police and politicians woke up to the new reality – you can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people some of the time but never – and especially when there is a CCTV camera around – all of the people all of the time. The News, editorial, 8 March 2009.