Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Coach hurt in Lahore gun attack

Paul Farbrace
Paul Farbrace joined the Sri Lankan team as assistant coach in 2007

A cricket coach has been injured in a gun attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan which saw at least five policemen killed.

Assistant coach Paul Farbrace, a former Kent batsman, received a shrapnel wound to his right arm.

Seven Sri Lanka players were also hurt. Two were taken to hospital, but none have life-threatening injuries.

Mr Farbrace said he was lucky to be alive and "desperately sad for the people who died trying to save them".

The team bus was travelling under police escort to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore when it came under attack.

Paul Farbrace: 'The blood I could see was coming from me'

The Sri Lanka squad have been airlifted from the stadium and are waiting at a military base until they can return to Colombo.

Speaking to BBC News, Mr Farbrace said: "I remember one minute looking out the window, the next minute hearing windows breaking around me and people shouting 'get to the floor'.

He added: "I'm just very, very grateful that I'm still alive to be able to look back on the situation.

"I feel desperately sad for people around us, people that died trying to save us. That's horrendous I think that's something that will stay with you forever.

"We're extremely lucky and extremely grateful. The poor guy driving the minibus with the match referee and the umpires in [it], he was just doing his job and he gets killed doing a very ordinary mundane job.

"People talk about it [being] bad for cricket but I think cricket goes on the back burner. I think it's sad for people."

Former England and Nottinghamshire batsman Chris Broad, the match referee, was also caught up in the attack.

He was travelling with other officials in a vehicle following the Sri Lankan team bus.

Dominic Cork, the former England bowler who was working as a commentator for Pakistan TV, said although Mr Broad was unhurt he was left spattered with blood during the attack.

He told BBC Five Live how he saw the Sri Lankan bus with "bullet holes all over", and said he spoke to the players in the dressing room shortly afterwards, where the mood was "sombre".

Of the massive security surrounding the series, Mr Cork said it was "very difficult to understand how it's happened and why it's happened".

Mr Farbrace previously served as coach of the England women's and men's Under-19 teams, and was assistant coach at Kent before being recruited by the Sri Lankan team in 2007.

His wife Liz told BBC Radio Kent he had been well looked after and that mobile X-ray machines had been brought into a dressing room to check their injuries.

Mrs Farbrace said: "He called me at 4am our time to say he had seen a couple of bombs and been shot at.

"He seems fine, and that's a blessing, but he hasn't said an awful lot.

"I know it's dangerous but you you don't expect it to happen."

'Cowardly attack'

Kent coach Simon Willis said Mr Farbrace had told him it was a "terrifying experience".

He said he was amazed that cricketers had been targeted in Pakistan because it is such a popular sport.

The Sri Lankan team's vice captain Kumar Sangakkara confirmed he and his team-mates were "safe and out of danger".

Mr Sangakkara said: "We are shocked but apart from that everyone is okay."

According to Lahore police chief Habibur Rahman, "10 to 12" attackers came to the scene in auto rickshaws.

Sri Lanka's president Mahinda Rajapakse condemned the incident as a "cowardly terrorist attack".

The second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka has been called off.



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SEE ALSO
Gunmen shoot Sri Lanka cricketers
03 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Farbrace secures Sri Lanka role
18 Jul 07 |  Sri Lanka

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