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The Cricket Landscape May Be Changed Forever

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Contributor:
Adrian Musolino
Adrian Musolino

The tragic events in Lahore that saw Sri Lanka's cricket team attacked have sent shock waves around the world as the cricket and sporting world comes to terms with these events. The repercussions will be felt by cricket for years to come.

Not surprisingly the New Zealand team called off their Pakistan tour scheduled for December and to be quite frank it is difficult to see when a team will tour the country again. 

So spare a thought for Pakistan cricket fans that, because of the crazed actions of a select few, will be deprived of seeing international cricket on their shores for the foreseeable future, possibly for their lifetimes.

The popular Indian Premier League already had a cloud hanging over it as a result of the Mumbai terrorist attack and the Indian government rightly admitted it could not guarantee the safety of the players during their time in the country. 

The possibility of the 2011 World Cup going head must also be questioned considering it was to be held in four countries on the subcontinent - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

With the region gripped with political strife and these ongoing attacks, the subcontinent, so renowned for its passion and love of cricket, may have to go without it as the other cricketing power houses, the likes of Australia, NZ, England, the West Indies and South Africa contemplate the security of touring there.

The ICC and other national cricket bodies may insist future tours are held on neutral ground if countries cannot ensure player safety, the UAE one example of a possible location. 

But this will have an effect on cricket’s future sustainability especially if the IPL, the competition many consider to be the future direction of cricket, is impacted by such events.

With cricket at such a critical stage of its development with the emergence of Twenty-20 and the increased commercialisation and possibilities the version of the game opened up, how long before the investors in the likes of IPL and cricket in general pack their bags knowing this cloud looms large over the sport. 

It is a terrible situation and lets not forget there is a larger issue than just sport here. Let’s hope some sanity and stability emerges from the craziness and Pakistan and other subcontinent countries impacted by political instability and terror move toward peace so down the track sport, which provides so much joy to people can return to its shores. 

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