‘My wounds remind me of the gruesome incident’- Umpire Ahsan Raza on the 2009 Sri Lanka bus-attack
“I was very emotional that day."
Updated - Mar 3, 2019 2:12 pm
March 3, 2009- The day turned out to be a dreadful one in the history of Pakistan cricket. The Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by 12 gunmen prior to the third day’s play of the second Test at the iconic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. As many as six Lankan cricketers were wounded and a couple of civilians along with six Pakistani policemen also lost their lives.
International cricket was suspended following the incident and even after 10 long years, teams are still reluctant to travel to the war-stricken nation. The occurring remains equivalent to a horrific dream for many that include Ahsan Raza, the reserve umpire of that match, who managed to survive the attack. For the time being, he doesn’t want to recall the tragedy.
“My wounds have healed but whenever I look at them I remember the gruesome incident. Whenever someone mentions that incident I request him not to remind me of that tragedy,” Raza was quoted as saying to the media.
I was very emotional that day
After a six-year break, international cricket returned to Pakistan in 2015 when Zimbabwe toured the nation for a limited-overs series. However, the biggest development came to the fore when Sri Lanka went to Pakistan for a one-off T20I in Lahore in October 2017.
Raza officiated in that game as well. He went down the memory lane and also sounded confident about more foreign teams coming to Pakistan. “I was very emotional that day. To their credit PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) has taken gradual steps and I am 100 percent confident that more foreign teams will come in the near future,” he remarked.
Ever since the attack, Pakistan play its home matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Even the Pakistan Super League (PSL) mostly takes place in the UAE, albeit the tournament authorities are steadfastly bringing the tournament back to Pakistan.