The Lahore 03/03 terror attack had perhaps changed the game of cricket forever. If not in the quality of the game definitely in terms of ‘glorious uncertainties’ being replaced by ‘ominous uncertainties’ and in terms of unprecedented security arrangements.
An international cricket team, Sri Lanka, had been Pakistan super league 8 2023 specifically targeted for a brutal terror attack for reasons best known to the all encompassing terror in Pakistan. An attack frighteningly similar to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. An attack that had become an immense tragedy for the equally cricket loving people of Pakistan which has been producing cricketers of exceptional talent over the years.
What had been a nightmarish thought for this high profile big money sport has now become a reality. Apart from all cricketing nations tightening security arrangements for all ensuing engagements the immediate impact has fallen squarely on the second version of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which was to unfold during April- May 2009.
The IPL dilemma is not entirely for the terror attack. The biggest democracy of the world that is India is also going for the biggest democratic exercise that is the parliamentary general elections during April-May 2009 which ironically also needs the biggest imaginable security arrangements. With terror diversifying into cricket the dilemma is all the more palpable for both the Indian government and the IPL organizers, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The debate is raging. How to provide security for the most glamorous tournament having venues spread all over India involving highly priced international cricketers from all cricket playing nations of the world. The Indian government expressed its inability to provide security forces in view of the elections while BCCI vociferously said that it did not require hard core security forces as India was not Pakistan. And the media professionals have been saying that IPL matches are ‘juicy’ targets for terrorists and that elections are the first priority for security. So how to ensure foolproof security for the tournament?
The IPL thus had to be rescheduled. The BCCI had to announce ten times more spends on security. But the pernicious question remains as to would this ensure foolproof security. Maybe due to this except Tamil Nadu all the states of the Indian Union having venues have again refused to make security arrangements citing elections. All the participating international cricketers are naturally having second thoughts on coming to play in India. IPL-2 remained in jeopardy.
India is definitely not Pakistan, but what has been happening in Pakistan is particularly dangerous for India and of course, the US.
It is vital to save cricket from terror. To ensure this we will also have to tackle terror more effectively and permanently and on a global basis. The global population must be freed from terror so that they enjoy the ‘glorious uncertainties’ of cricket.
Chinmay Chakravarty is a professional specialized in the creative field with over two decades of experience in journalistic writing, media co-ordination, film script writing, film dubbing, film & video making, management of international film festivals and editing of books & journals. Proficient in providing professional services in these related fields. Presently working in Mumbai Doordarshan as a News Editor