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Cricketer Chris Broad a hero in Pakistani attack

Former England cricketer Chris Broad has been hailed a hero of the terrorist ambush in Lahore after throwing himself on top of critically injured umpire Ahsan Raza during the attack.

As many as eight policemen and Sri Lankan cricketers are said to be dead and many more have been wounded after coming under fifteen minutes of sustained fire while trapped in their vehicles.

This is not "an unfortunate incident" as the Sri Lankan foreign minister said. This appears to be a deliberate attack by violent Islamists on unarmed sportsmen.

I note that seventy percent of Sri Lankans are Buddhists.

To place this in more context, Mark Steyn writes in Not Cricket :

The slaughter of the Israeli athletes was extremely popular among wide swathes of Arab public opinion. By contrast, the attempted slaughter of Sri Lankan cricketers is unlikely to be terribly popular among Pakistanis at large. Pakistanis like to watch first-class cricket: It's one of their few functioning links with the wider world — or, at any rate, the British Commonwealth bits of it — and one of the last things that prevents them from sinking entirely into a toxic Islamist squat. The New Zealand team has already canceled its tour on security grounds. England, Oz, the Windies, South Africa will do likewise. The scheduled co-hosting of the 2011 Cricket World Cup by Pakistan now has a big question mark over it.

So, unlike the Arab assault on Israel, this seems less a terrorist attack on your enemy than a terrorist attack on one of the last prominent remnants of civilized norms in your own country. Whether it's the LeT or some other group, it's a significant move in the Islamist campaign to hollow out the Pakistani state and seize what's left (including the nukes).

It is a pity that a British game that brings people together from all over the world has been attacked.

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