Thursday, 25 September 2008

Ben on...close shaves

I didn't find the time to comment on the controversy around the Champions Trophy in Pakistan and its postponement. My position would have been that I support NZ Cricket's decision not to send a team to Pakistan. I actually think that the threat posed by terrorism is very small and I typically wouldn't agree with a decision that allows terrorism to impact on our regular lives in this way. However, the NZ cricket team has had several close shaves while touring terrorism-wracked countries, so I think it is only reasonable that they are reluctant to put themselves at risk.

Recall these close shaves:
  • 2002 tour of Pakistan called off after a suicide bomb was denoted outside the hotel they were staying at.
  • 1992 tour of Sri Lanka disrupted after a terrorist attack outside their hotel, the grisly after-effects of which several of the NZ team were to witness.
  • 1987 tour of Sri Lanka curtailed after a bomb blast at a bus station that killed over 100. It didn't occur close to where the team was at the time, though they had passed the bus station half an hour earlier.
It was reported last night that the Black Caps were scheduled to stay at the Marriott Hotel at the very time it was hit by a terrorist attack that killed 53 people and injured hundreds more. If they had been there, there is every likelihood that some of the team could have been injured or killed.

Even though the Marriott bomb occurred half a world away, it must qualify as another close shave.

5 comments:

Leg Break said...

Ben,

You forgot to mention Ross Taylor’s close shave in the IPL…

The item on Tv3 last night was a disgraceful piece of sensationalism based on a random collection of non facts.

Here’s some balance.

http://www.sportsfreak.co.nz/show-column.asp?ID=589

(Apologies for not doing hyperlinks properly)

Ben said...

Nice article Leggie. Wish I had read it before I made my post.

(Though it is perhaps not inconceivable that they could be staying in Islamabad between matches.)

Leg Break said...

Ben,

Islamabad is not Queenstown, Taupo or even Greytown.

The Black Caps would not have been there,

My point is not that the place is safe; it's the brain-numbing hysteria (and it's xenophobic) around this stuff...

Ben said...

Leggie,

I agree that the most likely scenario is that the Black Caps were originally booked to stay in the Marriott for their 19 Sep. game at Rawalpindi, and that no one had gotten around to updating this booking once the game was changed to Lahore before the tournament was postponed (probably because NZC had no intention of going to Pakistan). I also agree that the TV3 piece was hysterical, but that's the mainstream media for you.

However, to give TV3 the benefit of the doubt (but mostly just an effort to save my post from complete irrelevance), it's not beyond the realms of possibility that the Marriott booking could have been kept so that the BCs could hang out there while they waited for the semis or their flight home. Compared to polluted Lahore, modern Islamabad could almost be Taupo.

Leg Break said...

”modern Islamabad could almost be Taupo.”

Well apart from the hookers I guess…