Pakistan is a no-go zone: Warne

Published: Wednesday, March 4, 2009, 13:28 [IST]
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Warne says Pakistan is a no-go zone

Melbourne: Champion former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has declared Pakistan a no-go zone, saying that the safety of players and officials should be of paramount importance.

"I can't believe this has happened. This is an absolute tragedy," the Herald Sun quoted Warne as saying yesterday.

"It's terrible. People have been killed and I just hope that those who have been injured are all OK. Our hearts and thoughts are with those people," he added.

"Unfortunately, I think this rules out the Aussies playing in Pakistan now and for a very long time. It is just not worth taking the risk, full stop. I think this is just a commonsense approach. Any tours to Pakistan, now or in the future, can''t even be looked at," Warne said

International Cricket Council president David Morgan said Pakistan cannot host international cricket unless it dramatically improves security.

"In the current situation it clearly is a very dangerous place," Morgan said.

Asked about plans for the World Cup, due to be played in four Indian subcontinent countries, Morgan said: "Things will have to change dramatically in Pakistan if any of the games are to be staged there."

"I think that international cricket in Pakistan is out of the question until there is a very significant change, a regime change I guess," he added.

Former Australian fast bowler and Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson reluctantly agreed.

After years of campaigning for teams to tour Pakistan he now admits the nation will become the Wanderers XI of international cricket.

"It was an honest belief we held (that sporting teams would not be terrorist targets), and it is tragic that this has happened. I have been looking at the footage on TV and I know that area very well. I have a lot of friends over there . . .

"Cricket won't be played in Pakistan for the foreseeable future. Pakistan look like they will become a wandering cricket team now.

"Obviously, there is no chance of the Champions Trophy or the World Cup going ahead."

Pakistan was to be the joint host of the 2011 World Cup with India and Sri Lanka.

Former Pakistan great Inzamam-ul-Haq feared the worst when he told Pakistan television: "The World Cup (in 2011), too, might be affected. No country would want to come now to Pakistan.

"I am worried where Pakistan will get a chance to play, not only in Pakistan but outside as well. This is all so sad."

Former Test batsman Rameez Raja told the Cricinfo website he heard the blast and the commotion after it.

"I never thought we will face a situation like this in Pakistan where sportspeople will be targets," he said. "We have to get united and fight the terrorists. Time for staying quiet is over."

Former Australian paceman Jason Gillespie declared the cricketing world could boycott touring Pakistan forever.

"I''m guessing there''s all these cricketers around the world, and I bet there''s some Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore at the moment, who are saying: I''m never coming back to this place again," he said.

"And they are justified in saying so."

Victorian captain Cameron White said that he was not shocked by the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team in Pakistan.

"It doesn't come as an absolute shock. On one of the Australia A trips I played on in Pakistan we had quite a few bombs go off close to where we were out for dinner one night.

So it isn't an absolute shock and in the past I haven't felt totally safe there, but in saying that the last time I went there, I felt okay," said White.

White added he had played at the stadium where the bus convoy was headed when the attack struck and he said it was pretty worrying to learn what had happened.

He expressed his sadness and sympathy over the attack.


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