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Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Broad's Lahore claims criticised

Chris Broad
Broad has faced a backlash after criticising Pakistan's security efforts

Former Pakistan opener Aamir Sohail has added to the wave of criticism against Chris Broad for his comments in the wake of the Lahore terror attack.

The English Test official angrily criticised security following Tuesday's ambush, which left six policemen dead and seven Sri Lanka players injured.

His claims were vehemently denied by Pakistan cricket chief Ijaz Butt.

And Sohail said: "Such negative remarks from an International Cricket Council match official serve no purpose."

The Pakistan Cricket Board official added: "The entire world has seen that our security officials sacrificed their lives to protect all foreigners.

"Pakistan needs the support of the whole world and statements such as those given by Broad are not needed by us."

Broad was travelling to the Gaddafi Stadium along with fellow match officials Simon Taufel, Steve Davis, Nadeem Ghouri and Ahsan Raza when his bus came under fire.

The driver of Broad's vehicle was killed in the attack and local umpire Raza was seriously injured after being shot.

And the former England Test batsman later said: "I am extremely angry that we were promised high-level security and in our hour of need that security vanished," adding that he and his colleagues were left like "sitting ducks" when security forces ran for cover.

However, his comments prompted a stern reaction from Butt, who told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Six of them (security forces) died, nine of them are seriously injured in hospital and he says there were no policeman?

"Where does he come up with such comments? I'm seriously going to report this back to the ICC. This is not the way. There were other people also, all foreigners, not one single one of them was injured."

And former Pakistan captain and director general of the PCB Javed Miandad, said: "I will urge the ICC to impose a life ban on Broad as he, being the official, is not right to make such remarks in public."

Broad and the other uninjured officials were flown out of Pakistan three hours after the incident and headed to Dubai before returning home to the UK.

What I can tell you is that we were isolated, we were left alone, we were unaccounted for

Simon Taufel
But while he has faced a backlash from the likes of Sohail, Butt and Miandad, Broad's comments have been lent some support by Taufel, who was equally dismayed by Pakistan's security efforts.

"You tell me why supposedly 20 armed commandos were in our convoy and when the team bus got going again, we were left on our own? I don't have any answers to these questions," he said.

"Obviously they'll investigate those issues. What I can tell you is that we were isolated, we were left alone, we were unaccounted for, we were not given the same security and the same attention as the playing staff were.

"I'm angry that when we were in an hour of need, we were left on our own. I'm angry that the team bus got to the ground and no one came back for us. That's the fact, that's the reality. Who's to blame and who's at fault I don't know," he added.

We hope cricket comes out of this week in a positive light

Andrew Strauss
Meanwhile, former England captain Michael Vaughan believes cricket must continue, even on the sub continent, despite the attacks.

"I don't think we can bow down and give into these terrorists," he said. "We have to make sure, as much as we can, we keep cricket - and cricket in Pakistan - alive."

And those sentiments were echoed by current England skipper Andrew Strauss, who said: "The game has to continue. We hope cricket can come out of this week in a positive light."

But England and Worcestershire paceman Simon Jones sounded a warning, telling BBC Five Live: "Sport is seen as a way of bringing people together and for this to happen to the Sri Lankan team and everyone involved is absolutely shocking.

"Where we go from here, I'm not sure, security is going to have to be stepped up 10 fold if games are to go ahead.

"I think it's a big worry that terrorists are now targeting sport - and it's a big, big decision now for any and every player to make whether to play and, or tour, judging each case and match on it's merits and on the advice given to them."

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see also
Broad angry at security failures
04 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Pakistan cricket future in doubt
04 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Abu Dhabi to hold Pakistan talks
04 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Sri Lanka cricketers arrive home
04 Mar 09 |  Cricket

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