Umpires - We were helpless
Australian umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis have joined colleague Chris Broad in criticising security procedures in Pakistan.
Last Updated: 05/03/09 11:35am
Australian umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis have joined colleague Chris Broad in criticising security procedures in the wake of the attacks on themselves and the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on Tuesday.
The trio, together with fourth official Ahsan Raza, were in a bus following the one carrying the Sri Lankan team when terrorists opened fire close to the Gaddafi Stadium - where the second Test against Pakistan was being played.
Six policemen and the match officials' driver were killed in the hail of bullets, while seven Sri Lankan players injured and Raza was taken to hospital after being hit in the stomach.
Arriving home in the UK on Wednesday, match referee Broad said that he and his colleagues were left like "sitting ducks".
Taufel and Davis echoed his sentiments as they flew into Sydney, saying they had been "promised nine and probably got delivered two out of 10" in terms of security.
The pair also felt they and their colleagues had not been given the level of support subsequently afforded the players.
"You tell me why no one was caught, you tell me why supposedly 25 armed commandos were in our convoy and when the team bus got going again we were left on our own," Taufel said at Sydney Airport.
"I don't have the answer to these questions, what I can tell you this morning 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.
"Yes I feel for the Sri Lankan players, no question, but all I ask for is a bit of balance. Their bus was in a situation like ours was where we were defenceless, helpless and left on our own."
Davis added: "We were left with no one around.
"The Sri Lankan bus drove off and all strength to them. But our driver had been shot dead and we were just stuck in the roundabout and were being pelted with bullets and whatever else they were throwing at us and there was no other security around.
"Even when their bus got back to the stadium no one came to get us, I couldn't understand it. There's a lot of questions to be answered.
"I just think that maybe all the necessary precautions weren't taken and when it came to the crunch it was found wanting so that was very disappointing and frankly very life-threatening.
"It was only afterwards that we realised, when we saw footage, and learnt from people, we were the only ones left there amongst all that carnage which was pretty disappointing. And then we started feeling a bit angry to be honest."
The overwhelming feeling among the two umpires as they arrived back in Australia was one being thankful to be alive.
"Looking at that footage I can't tell you why we're here, I have absolutely no idea," Taufel said.
"I've seen reports to suggest they haven't caught anyone. I find that amazing. I don't know why.
"It's just an unreal experience but I say what I said before, we were in a war, this was a bloody game of cricket and we were in a war. It's not the way life should be or sport should be.
"It's just a game of cricket, this is not a war. On Tuesday morning we were caught in a war, we were in a war zone.
"Sometimes if we have a bad day out on the field and we don't get everything right we say nobody's died, well on Tuesday people died."
Taufel also expressed his conviction that no amount of security can prevent such attacks happening but added that the methods of responding to them should be improved.
"The bottom line is if somebody wants to attack they will, you can't stop that, but I think the issue is what you do in that circumstance and how you treat the events that happen accordingly," he said.