No easy answers
Bob Willis says the Lahore attack will have severe implications for cricket in Pakistan and all over the world.
Last Updated: 04/03/09 12:08pm
The implications of the Lahore attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team are devastating for cricket in Pakistan and elsewhere, and in the coming days and weeks the ICC is going to have to sit down and seriously think about the future of the sport.
There isn't going to be any international cricket in Pakistan for between three and five years, I wouldn't have thought, something which is bound to have an impact on the development of players there.
So the Pakistan Cricket Board will need to set up some sort of base outside the country - possibly in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or another friendly Middle Eastern state.
The ICC should take joint-responsibility for this. They will not want to cut Pakistan out of the cricketing family, and they have bent over backwards in the past to help members with problems. Other cricket-playing countries, too, will be sympathetic to the PCB.
But after several scares in recent years, this is the first direct attack on a sporting team I can recall since Israeli athletes were targeted at the 1972 Olympic Games, and all the goodwill in the world will not persuade cricket authorities - or governments for that matter - to send teams to places where they must now be regarded as targets for terrorists.
Players will have grave doubts about travelling to the subcontinent now, too, which must place a question mark over the forthcoming Indian Premier League and - looking further ahead still - the 2011 World Cup which is scheduled for India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The IPL commissioner, Lalit Modi, may say he is confident that the big-money tournament will go ahead as planned, but will superstars such as Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff really be keen on going now, let alone any Sri Lankans, after the terrible experience they have been through?
Aside from that, cricket is meant to be a pleasant pastime, and an environment where armed personnel are guarding every hotel floor and surrounding each stadium is not one in which to play the game.
In fact, other subcontinental countries might find that teams from elsewhere are reluctant to tour there at all, which could open the way for future Test series to be held in England or even Australia.
Certainly, with no other international cricket scheduled for June, there could be an opportunity for England to become an international venue.
These are all options the ICC may have to consider in what will be a difficult time for the sport.