Where is Safe in Cricket World?

I’ve had some more time to think about this, and I’ve come up with both hands up in the air. Chris Broad, Dominic Cork, and a number of others may be right that Pakistan will not host another international Test match in the next ten years (or even twenty).

That’s a fair assessment, but I’m not sure it makes for consistent logic: India has suffered just as many shocking terrorist attacks — the English team barely missed the Taj attacks (but its security advance detail didn’t) — but no team would ever dare not tour the country. Even England, which has been on relatively high alert since the 2005 attacks, is not immune to dangers. In 2006, the MI5 chief spoke of the range of threats his country faced:

Since [2005], the combined efforts of my Service, the police, SIS and GCHQ have thwarted a further five major conspiracies in the UK, saving many hundreds (possibly even thousands) of lives. Last month the Lord Chancellor said that there were a total of 99 defendants awaiting trial in 34 cases.

Now, I’m not suggesting that England is as dangerous as Pakistan is because that’s absolutely not the point. Terrorism doesn’t work like that. Precisely because England offers a veneer of stability, a terrorist attack would be all the more galling, and normalcy — past or present — proves absolutely nothing, as terror attacks whenever it wants to.

Take away, then, England, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India. You’re left with Australia, South Africa (despite very high crime rates), the West Indies (ditto on crime), and New Zealand. That’s just not feasible for the sport, and boards recognize that, which is why, despite what happened in Pakistan, they will not necessarily sever ties with India, the sport’s center. So, don’t tour Pakistan. But understand that you’re only not doing so because you don’t have to. If you were truly concerned about safety, you’d not tour more than half the cricket world.

2 thoughts on “Where is Safe in Cricket World?

  1. Joe says:

    this has got to be bad for Pakistan’s image around the world

  2. […] went on and on about the dangers of touring Pakistan — justified as it turned out — I was annoyed that they assumed touring England was that much safer: Even England, which has been on relatively […]

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