Younis sorry for attack on Sri Lankan players

Reuters
Mar 04, 2009 at 10:17am IST

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Lahore: Pakistan captain Younis Khan said his team were lucky to escape the attack on Sri Lanka's team bus on Tuesday.

"Thank God we decided to leave our hotel five minutes after the Sri Lankans," Younis told a news conference.

"We are a young team and God forbid if both buses had been moving together it could have been catastrophic."

UTTERLY SHOCKED: Younis said he would not be surprised to see the 2011 World Cup matches in Pakistan switched.

Gunmen attacked Sri Lanka's bus with rifles, grenades and rockets, wounding six players and a British coach, while it was being driven to Lahore's Gaddafi stadium for the third day of the second test against Pakistan.

Five policemen and a bus driver were killed in the attack and the test match has now been cancelled.

"This incident was very draining emotionally and we have been trying to keep our players calm," added Younis.

"We should all be thankful no one from the Sri Lankan team was killed." Younis said he had apologised to the Sri Lankan players on behalf of the Pakistani people.

"I was surprised by their reaction," he said. "They took the incident in their stride and said they had no complaints with our people."

SECURITY SITUATION "It (the attack) took everyone by surprise because no team has ever come under fire in Pakistan despite the security situation in our country.

"There is no doubt it is going to be very difficult to convince teams to tour Pakistan. Even if some team comes we will have to take extraordinary security measures."

Younis said he would not be surprised to see the 2011 World Cup matches in Pakistan switched to another country. "We can't turn a blind eye to these things," he said. "It is sad I have been in the team during three very bad incidents.

"The Oval test (his team forfeited against England) in 2006, the death of (Pakistan) coach Bob Woolmer at the 2007 World Cup and now this. "We as Pakistani people need to change things and stop these terrorists from spoiling our cricket."

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