Despite the terrorist attack outside Gadaffi Stadium, Zimbabwe to continue with Pakistan’s tour

The unfortunate terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009 saw Pakistan being isolated from hosting international cricket for the next six years. Teams have declined to tour the country and after a lot of negotiations, Zimbabwe decided to tour them.

Despite the heavy security for the series, the cricket crazy nation once again witnessed a terrorist attack outside the Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore during the second One-Day International (ODI). The blast killed three policemen but failed to shake the visitor’s faith in their hosts as Zimbabwe have decided to continue with the series.

First, the explosion which took place around 9 pm, was written off as a power transformer blast but later it was confirmed by Federal Information Minister Pervez Rasheed on Geo News.

“The blasts were heard and word spread around but the people who came to watch the match remained orderly and there was no incident,” Agha Akbar, a PCB spokesperson was quoted from a Press Trust of India (PTI) report.

“The main thing is that the Zimbabwe team is continuing the tour and will play the last ODI as planned on Sunday,” he said.

DIG Operations Punjab Police Dr Haider Ashraf told that at least three policemen were killed in the rickshaw blast including a sub-inspector and quite a few injured. It is believed that the blast in the rickshaw was done to distract as another terrorist waited to take advantage of the chaos to enter the stadium, but because of the strong security, he couldn’t.

“The blast took place one kilometre from the stadium and there was panic and the policemen and rangers handled the situation smoothly and we are investigating and collecting evidence from the blast site,” Ashraf explained.

After the 2009 dreadful incident, Zimbabwe is the first team to play at Pakistan. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has refused to send its match officials on security grounds but the PCB and Punjab Government have provided state level security to the touring team.