Basically, because of the game’s length. When cricketers tour, they have to spend months at a time in their host country; less time would not make the tour viable. Say you play a three-Test series — that’s fifteen days already. Add in a warm-up match or two (unless, of course, the BCCI organized your tour), and a few days between matches, and you’re already up to a month. Then, there’s the ODI series and the Twenty20…well, you get the point.
And this is exactly what happened in Lahore. According to a New York Times article on the attack, the terrorists may have had time to plan because they knew what the Sri Lankans had done on the first two days of the match. They learned their routine and itinerary, and planned accordingly:
The attack, which began at 9 a.m. Tuesday, appeared to have been well planned. Because it occurred on the third day of the cricketers’ match, the assailants had time to carry out reconnaissance on the previous mornings.
The article has some other interesting facts. Apparently, the Sri Lankans said they would only tour Pakistan if they were given “president-level” security. That’s what they were promised, but that’s not what they got:
But to show that the Sri Lankan cricket team did not receive the security it had asked for, the Dawn television channel on Tuesday night showed the elaborate motorcades with bulletproof vehicles traveling at high speed with flashing lights used by senior Pakistani officials.
And then, there’s this amazingly frightening possibility:
One South Asia specialist also raised the possibility that Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka might have asked Lashkar-e-Taiba militants in Pakistan to attack the cricket team. If true, this would be an ominous sign of collaboration between regional terrorist groups.