Trevor Bayliss was with the Sri Lankan team as coach when their bus was shot at © Getty Images
Trevor Bayliss was with the Sri Lankan team as coach when their bus was shot at © Getty Images

There are a lot of people within cricket who are apt to call a one-sided match a “massacre” or a dropped catch a “tragedy”, but new England coach Trevor Bayliss is unlikely to be one of them. The Australian was in charge of Sri Lanka when their team bus was attacked by gunmen in Lahore in 2009 in an incident that killed eight people and injured seven visiting players.

Bayliss was also present, in his role as New South Wales coach, when South Australia and Australia batsman Phillip Hughes was fatally struck hit on the head by a bouncer during a domestic match at the Sydney Cricket Ground in November.

For Bayliss, about to coach England against his native Australia in an Ashes Test series, the memory of the Lahore attack — where England deputy Paul Farbrace was with him as assistant Sri Lanka coach — remains vivid.

“I certainly remember when the bombs and the bullets were flying around, I thought ‘oh well… I can’t believe we’re actually being shot at’, but there was nothing I could do except keep your head down and your arse up,” Bayliss told reporters at Lord’s on Wednesday. “I got down between the seats and I did feel some shards of glass come down through my hair. I looked up and could see three bullet holes in the window.

“You just deal with it as best you can and get on with it. My philosophy is that if you worry about it too much it will follow you around. The way I’ve dealt with it has been from that point of view. “From the terrorism point of view it is said all the time, but you can’t allow that kind of thing to determine the rest of your life.”

– Memory honoured –

The 52-year-old added: “To everyone’s credit in the bus there was no shouting and what not. I suppose you don’t know how people are going to react until they are put into that situation, but everything was very calm.”

As for the death of Hughes, who died after being struck by a Sean Abbott bouncer, Bayliss said there was a need to honour his memory without the batsman’s passing inhibiting the way sides played their cricket.

“It was very difficult for the two teams playing… Phil had played at New South Wales cricket and had started with a lot of the players who were out on the field with him that day,” Bayliss recalled.

“He’d been at South Australia for about three seasons so knew the players on both sides. “The encouraging thing was the sentiments that came worldwide, it wasn’t just from those teams or the Australian cricket community.

“From now on whatever cricket is played, those memories and sentiments will always be in the backs of people’s minds. “But while the game of cricket honours his memory, we can’t let it affect the way we go about the game, whether that is playing in an aggressive manner. “It is important that all sides play in their way.”