Skipper slams Lahore attack
Pakistan captain Younis Khan labelled Tuesday's attack on Sri Lanka's team bus as a 'deplorable act'.
Last Updated: 03/03/09 6:11pm
Pakistan captain Younis Khan labelled Tuesday's attack on the Sri Lanka team bus as a 'deplorable act', and was thankful that a delay meant his team were not caught up in the gunfire.
The Sri Lankan squad came under fire from gunmen just outside the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, with seven players suffering injuries.
Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana were hospitalised by the attack, which took place in the shadow of the stadium where the Test was being played.
Umpire Ahsan Raza was also shot and is in intensive care as a vehicle transporting match officials was stranded outside the ground after their driver was killed.
On the previous two days of the Test, both team buses had travelled at the same time. However, on Tuesday Pakistan were delayed, meaning the home side escaped being caught up in the attack.
"We normally leave together, but today we were delayed and the Sri Lankan team went ahead of us," Younis said.
"It would have been catastrophic had both buses gone together."
Younis, 31, who admitted that he had spoken to several Sri Lankan players after the incident, was quick to condemn the attack.
"They were courteous and took the incident in their stride. They merely termed it 'a bad experience' and they have no ill feeling towards this country," he added.
"This is a deplorable act and it's completely unacceptable. They were our guests and it's awful to see such incidents happening.
"We are thankful that none of the players suffered fatal injuries and the courage of the bus driver must be praised.
"I heard Muttiah Muralitharan presented him with a team jersey. It was a great gesture."
Coach turned back
Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam said that the team had only just left their hotel when they were told to turn back because of the attack.
"We heard about the attack only when we had reached Mall road and were immediately told to return back to the hotel," he said.
"It was a terrifying incident and we sat down together worried about the Sri Lankan players' safety.
"We later got in touch with them and their manager."