It was around 3 in the afternoon in Sydney. I was making a bit of lunch with my wife, when the familar vibration of the phone drew my attention to it from my mundane task of chopping up a mushroom. It was a text message from my dad. When I opened it had the ‘News Alert’ tag on it.’ My dad keeps me updated with the latest news from back home this way.
The first line said ‘4 policemen dead’, ah fuck I thought, another bloody suicide bombing, what I read next gave me a cold chill. ‘4 policemen dead when gunmen targetted the Sri Lanka cricket team in Pakistan’.
From then on it was a frenzy, hitting the news websites, checking on Sri Lankan forums,Going on MSN, chatting to friends from all over the world, it was pretty clear I was one of the first ones to know about the incident. In fact my first post on a cricket forum was something like ‘Did you guys hear about an attack on the SL team?’.
Slowly the news trickled in. 7-8 players injured said one site, 1 seriously injured said another. I was in a daze. So was everyone else. Fuck, from worrying about whether we should have declared earlier to this was a mind trip I wasn’t really ready for.
Channel 9 in Australia were all over it. Sanath was on the phone with CNN, everyone was safe he said. He had been on the phone with Vass and Sanga, which made me feel alot better.
Cricket. It flows in every one of our veins. We bleeding love thisgame, love it so much that we would sit behind a monitor for a hours writing about it, peruse through every single fucking run scored by a player and every single wicket taken by a bowler. Pick on the pitch, make fun of a commentator, get riled up over an umpiring call. It is what unites us. Its why you are reading this right now.
And thats why I felt like one of my own was hurt. It felt like somebody I knew was in the middle of all this. We live the game, so much so that the players are like a part of our own family. Our own blood. To hear that they were being attacked, with grenades and rocket launchers and machine guns was fucking terrifying.
All I could ask my self was why ? Why us ? When every respectable cricket nation abandoned Pakistan, We went there. Pakistan had always backed us, so it was easy enough logic that we should back them. Everyone promised that cricketers would never be harmed. And We believed them.
But RPGs and grenades ? Fuck.
14 months without test cricket. For a nation who loves cricket, the stands were empty, the pitches were dead and you end up trying to kill the only team that has the courage to tour ?
I’m a little drunk right now fellas and I hope you understand.
I;m gonna say a few things before I really start sounding like an idiot. First off, for the brave motherfuckers who died trying to save our team.
Thank you. You didnt deserve what you got, and I hope that you all find peace and that your families are proud of the way you have acted today.
To the crazy bus driver, who kept driving after the first RPG hit missed.
Thank you for having the balls of Zeus himself.
To the people of Pakistan, we hope all of you find a way to defeat these terrorists who have infected your land. We know how it feels. We have fought our own breed of Parasites for over 20 fucking years and we are only getting down to killing them off for good.
There is no ill will or hatred towards Pakistan. I am glad we toured, we were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Because, even though it is our players that were hurt, it is Pakistan that has suffered.
Beautifully written piece, my friend..
well written Damith.. these were the exact sentiments i felt when i hear this.. still this feels like a nightmare!
Great last line bro!
I don’t have to say everything again here, as you must have seen them on that abovementioned forum…
It’s just SHIT…
I walked into a meeting this afternoon about 4 still walking on air after Australia did the near impossible at The Wanderers and the first thing anyone said was, “Did you hear some terrorists have blown up the Sri Lankan team bus!” After a second or two of shock the first person I thought of was you mate and I was straight on the net to find out to my relief that my client was exaggerating.
I’m still angry that fine men like Mahela, Kumar, Murali, Sanath, John Dyson and the rest were targetted and more selfishly that the murderers in Lahore fucked what should have been a very happy day.
I think it’s better that l stay mum till I settle down.
Well done mate.
Sri Lankans are very brave to visit Pak ….but this is not what they deserve…this is very unfortunate…..
Thank God Sri Lankans got the right lesson. It was very much irritating to watch their behavior as if they were the only ones who have guts and and all others are fools. God did the right thing to keep SL’s arrogance in check. I could not control my laughing watching SL’s players running for their life to get into the helicopter. Antipathy and jealousy towards India does not necessarily mean heroism. Sometimes u also land up in soups like these.
I’m so crazy that I had Dyson confused with Bayliss. A new day tomorrow and it will be hopefully better than today.
Kishor laughing at another’s fear is so very tough pal. To say you are a complete cowardly fuckwit would be far to obvious.
You are an extremely sick person.
By the way, where is Arjuna Ranatunga, the great ? I really want to see his face now.
It was originally arjuna ranatunga ( the big fat bully )who accpeted the tour ,just to get back at India,who refused to tour and show them in a poor light and get pak to there side, out of whihc then the interm comite coudl not back track …… I hated that basterd,visceral haterd.
I would hold back.
My heartfelt symapthies with 6 brave heart cricketers. I have no words to speak on this tragedy. Thank god the injuries werent serious, but then the scars wud remain for life. Cricket wont be same again.
The team that agreed to tour a terror torn country was attacked. how worse it can get. One day you hit a double hundred or a 100, next day you get hit.
I am not sure if Arjuna Ranatunga agreed to this tour. if he did then he was an asshole. Why shud SL tour Pak ?
I have cut loose on my blog.
So well written Damith – praise be that most are safe, peace for those who were murdered. And for those commenters who choose to glory in others’ misery – shame on you – hope you are part of a VERY small minority
Not only is Kishor a cowardly fuckwit he’s a delusional fuckwit. None of the SL players ran for their life, Dilhara Fernando even paused to take a photo of the helicoptor.
Looks like Samaraweera will be out for a long time just when he was in the form of his life.
Any news on how my best friend Edward Ranjtih Fernando? He’s been very quiet during this incident.
I hope some of the posters would leave the politics out of this.
It is clearly sad and unfortunate that SL players have to go through this. Equally unfortunate that Pak has this latest issue to deal with.
“There is no ill will or hatred towards Pakistan. I am glad we toured, we were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
-well said Dammith. (Though I am not sure I would’ve said the same if Ind was touring and something like this happened.)
Kishor. you are a complete idiot, one day you will pay for those ill comments, may god kill you slowly one DAY!
kishor i’d like to see what you would of done when facing people with guns, you would of cried like a slumdog!
Looking at the comments by the Indians here, it comes as no surprise at all that Indian team players’ houses get burned down when they lose a game or two. It’s retarded morons like these who ruin this great game of cricket.
I can only think of one breed that take joy seeing death – TERRORISTS.
So the Indian fuckwits who posted here are no better than the terrorists who attacked our team.
By the way, Kishor and Vivek, if there comes a day that you own country’s fucked up terrorists decide to attack your own team, NO that will not be a joy for us.
It’s still sick for us. I guess that’s the difference between you retards and the rest of us….
SL decided to go to pakistan because of political reasons rather than cricket. I dont mean the cricketers but the cricket officials, but unfortunately it was the team which is affected. Needless to say, Pakistan is not a suitable for cricket, as australia rightly decided 10 years ago.
When I hear the news, I was glad that it happened. You can think that I am a sick person, but I dont feel that way. Because everyday hundreds of people are getting killed by terrorists which gets un-noticed. But incidents like this gets the real attraction, may be atleast this time Pakistan goverment take some real action against terrorists.
Nameless Terrorist, for one, Terrorists never accept they are terrorists, so you saying you don’t feel you’re a sick son of a bitch doesn’t account for anything.
Two, you’re glad about this cos it attracts attention. Just the mindset of a terrorist.
I’m sick of assholes like you… What’s the world is coming to?
Suave> Cheers mate.
Ishan> Thanks, good to hear everyone is safe though.
Nesta> cheers mate, your piece on 99.94 was quite moving. Will be over there soon.
siri> ya we were, and no we dint.
vivek & sam > doesnt really matter who did what, what is done is done.
inside> was ranjit in pakistan ? maybe he confused copara for fernando and ended up in the carib.
NT> many ppl die in my country everyday, and jst because we dont hear about it doesnt mean we think their life is less important.
maybe in a cruel way, this will finally open pakistans eyes and give them the lift they need to sort themselves out.
let me qualify……..i DONT second nor do i concur with KISHOR …it was just a comment on arjuna ranatunga whom i just abhor….and the one responsible for the tour to take place…i know u are hurt and emotinal about the whole situation so am I…….hence the OUTRAGE agaisnt the person who agreed to this tour at first place . i am a huge fan of the SL team esp of SANGA…and i am as happy and glad as any of u SL fans that he and the rest of the players are safe
i will take in account that u are right pretty emotinal abuot the whoe thing…so i am refraining from repsnding in kind to ur abuse and insult …..we can keep it for another day
this attack on Sri Lanka’s unsuspecting Cricket team is tragic because of the deaths and because of the long term effect this will have internationally
Ummm… OK my apologies mate.
I think I have misunderstood, but that is no excuse. I am truly sorry for what I said about you.