Icc World Cup India Vs Pakistan Head To Head Cricket and Terrorism – A Huge Problem

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Cricket and Terrorism – A Huge Problem

Cricket and terrorism go hand in hand in today’s world.

No sport can consider itself free from terrorism. The sighting of hidden gunmen opening fire on the bus of the Sri Lankan cricket team in the Pakistani city of Lahore provides such evidence.

The clever manner in which the terrorists carried out the attacks is truly harrowing. Echoes of the Mumbai attacks in November are clear for all to see.

For many people the attacks may not come as a surprise at all. The subcontinent is an area not short of conflict. Sri Lanka has a long history of civil war dating back to 1983 and India and Pakistan are constantly fighting over the Kashmir region. The cultural significance of cricket in these regions makes the sport a prime target.

Terrorism and cricket have clashed before. In 2002 the New Zealand cricket team narrowly avoided a bomb blast outside their hotel in Karachi.

The harsh reality is that sporting events have always been, and in the future even more so, targets for terrorist groups.

In the Munich Massacre in 1972 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were kidnapped and murdered by a Palestinian militant group. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics a US citizen detonated a bomb killing two and injuring hundreds.

Terrorism and sport have a history but some questions still need to be answered.

What makes sport such an attractive target? Why is the threat of terrorist attacks on sporting events likely to increase? What can be done to stop the threat?

The motivations of terrorist organizations are to gain maximum exposure for their efforts, sending strong messages to the world. Sports broadcasting may be the ideal platform. A suitable analogy can explain why.

On September 11, 2001 there were spectacular scenes more like the popular Hollywood “Independence Day” than a real life experience. Two of the foundations on which western society was built came crashing down spectacularly for global audiences to see.

The real-time graphic coverage, widely communicated, by the television network giants increased the alarm. At these times time stands still. Everyone remembers where they were when the second plane hit the World Trade Centre. 911

The attacks in Lahore are worse in scale than 9/11. However the effects are the same. It is very easy to draw parallels.

Cricketers are superstars who compete on the world stage through mass television networks to attract audiences in their millions. It is easy to see why terrorists want to share this step and make it their own.

No cricketers were killed but the perpetrators will be proud of the sensational global headlines

This goes further than cricket. The modern media’s sports coverage gives any terrorist group the exposure they seek.

The Lahore attacks will inspire terrorist groups to carry out similar acts in the future.

Tackling this issue with appropriate security measures should be at the top of every sporting organization’s agenda – be it the Cricket World Cup in 2011 or the London 2012 Olympics.

The security in Pakistan was unacceptable. The Pakistan Cricket Board has paid the ultimate price, losing the right to co-host the 2011 Cricket World Cup and making international sports in Pakistan a thing of the past for the foreseeable future.

The challenge facing other sporting organizations to address security concerns is a difficult one. Additional costs must be incurred to ensure the safety of athletes. Sports stars need safe environments to perform at their best.

Sport has a unique ability to unite those who are otherwise divided. Sports organizations around the world must send a strong message in response to those who choose terrorism.

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