Gaddafi stadium attack: Is an attempt to stop international match in cricket obsessed Pakistan?

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At least two people including a policeman was killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up neat Gaddafi stadium in Lahore on Friday. The attack took place when the second one day international (ODI) cricket match was going on between host nation Pakistan and visiting nation Zimbabwe.

Pakistan and Zimbabwe series was seen as revival of international cricket in the country. The return of international cricket to Pakistan was celebrated in style by the players and fans after country won first test match against Zimbabwe in Lahore.

Attempt to stop cricket in Pak

Pakistan was hoping to attract more top teams in the future, but bomb blast like this will ever allow Pakistan to host any other nation in future or any country would like to put their players and other members in danger by sending them to Pakistan.

Pakistan did not get chance to host any nation for cricket match after Sri Lankan team was attacked near the same Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore in March 2009. The Sri Lankans were ambushed while travelling from their hotel to the Gaddafi stadium for a test match, in an attack that left six Pakistani policemen and a van driver dead while some players and a local umpire sustained injuries.

Read More: Transformer blast injures policemen at Gaddafi Stadium

Foreign teams refused to tour Pakistan over security fears and Zimbabwe only agreed to tour the country after being promised security arrangements normally reserved for state heads.

Pakistan was forced to play designated 'home' matches in the United Arab Emirates since March 2009 following an attack by militants on a Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore.

Pakistan lost the right to co-host the 2011 World Cup. Most of the games that were scheduled to be played there went to India, the country's bitter rival, instead.

In such circumstances, the arrival of Zimbabwe has been a huge boon, but this blast may turn this into a bane.
Cricket starved fans packed the 27,000 capacity stadium in the two Twenty20 matches which Pakistan won 2-0 and in the two One-day Internationals.

Will Zimbabwe tour will be revival of international cricket in Pakistan or will continue to be isolated and fans will continue to be starved of their favourite game in the terror hit nation?

Story first published: Saturday, May 30, 2015, 15:55 [IST]
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