SL baseball squad visits March 2009 attack site

Pakistan policemen stand guard outside the Gaddafi stadium after a shooting in Lahore March 3, 2009. Six Sri Lankan cricketers and their British assistant coach were wounded.

LAHORE- April 18: Sri Lanka’s baseball squad on Monday visited the Liberty Chowk here, where their national cricket team was attacked by terrorists two years ago, to pay tribute to the martyred policemen who sacrificed their lives in order to save the visiting cricketers.

The team visited the Liberty Chowk along with President of the Pakistan Baseball Federation (PBF) Shaukat Javed and Secretary Khawar Shah.

They observed one-minute silent on the occasion and laid down bouquet on the monument.

On March 3, 2009, eight policemen were killed on spot while several were injured including some players of the Sri Lankan squad and a Pakistan umpire as terrorists opened fire on the Sri Lankan team bus heading towards the Gaddafi Stadium.

After that terrible incident foreign countries stopped sending their sports teams to Pakistan on many occasions.

The Sri Lankan baseball team manager K. Rajith said the main purpose of visiting the site was to pay tribute to the policemen, who sacrificed their lives to safe the Sri Lankan cricketers.

Rajith acknowledged that the Sri Lankan squad was given excellent security during their visit here and added that they enjoyed the tour.

He urged other sports teams to visit Pakistan, especially Sri Lankan cricket team.

Shaukat said the government of Punjab provided fool-proof security as the baseball tournament was held successfully, hoping other sporting teams would also start touring Pakistan soon.

Shaukat, who was IG Punjab when the Sri Lankan cricket team toured first to play a One-day International series, but later he was removed after the Governor rule was imposed in Punjab.

During that period the Sri Lankan team again came to Pakistan to play a two-match Test series. However, on the third day of the second Test the terrible incident took place, ending the Test tour abruptly as the visitors rushed back to Sri Lanka the same day.