Teams Refused To Play Cricket: The security and well being of cricketers has always been the priority of the respective cricket boards and the cancellation of the recent tour by Bangladesh due to recent terror attacks in New Zealand was an example in the same regards. Whilst Pakistan has been the country which is yet to see an International game on its soil after the infamous attack on the Sri Lankan team a decade back, there have been numerous instances when the whole tour has been called off due to the same reason
With that been said, let’s take a look at 5 times when the teams refused to play a particular series or match due to security reasons in International cricket history.
When Teams Refused To Play Cricket Due to Security Reasons
#1 Australia’s tour of Bangladesh ( 2015)
The Australian team is quite infamous for their random reasons for canceling a specific tour or series of matches and they did the same right before the series against the Bangladeshi team in 2015. The statement issued by their chief executive officer, James Sutherland quoted that the team cannot go ahead with their tour of Bangladesh due to the most recent reports received by their government agencies and security advisors regarding the security issues in Bangladesh.
It all got started with the reports that the security arrangements at Bangladesh were not up to the mark for the upcoming series with Australia and the Aussie did send their own convoy to check and analyze the same later. Sean Carol, head of the Cricket Australia security did hold a meeting with the Bangladesh government, Bangladesh cricket board and even the Australian high commission in the country, but nothing fruitful happened in the course of the whole controversy. Not only Australia canceled their tour, they also didn’t allow their U19 team to participate in the 2016 U19 world cup hosted by Bangladesh.
#2 Srilanka’s tour of Pakistan ( 2009)
This can certainly be quoted as the “Dark instance” in the history of the cricket which saw the ugliest terror attack on the Srilankan cricket team during their tour of 2009. It all started when India refused to tour Pakistan in the wake of the 2009 Mumbai attacks and a late invitation has been accepted by the Srilankan team from the Pakistani cricket board to compensate for the same.
However, the decision turned out to be a nightmare for the whole cricket team as while they were on their way for a practice session at the famous Gadaffi stadium in Lahore, their team bus has been attacked by a few gunmen in the surroundings. There were bullet shots on the bus and somehow the Srilankan team was been escaped from the spot with the help of some Pakistani Police personnel who put their lives on stake to save the Lankan players. Eventually, the whole team has been flown to Colombo with the help of a helicopter which came at the stadium itself and even now, none of the teams likes to tour Pakistan for the same security reasons.
#3 England’ Tour of India ( 2008-2009)
Right before their upcoming tour to Pakistan, the Indian team played a 7 match ODI series with England and they did win the first 5 matches quite convincingly with some brilliant performances by Sachin, Dravid, and others. However, just when the English team was scheduled to play the sixth match, India witnessed terror attack in Mumbai on Hotel Taj and the English team canceled their tour midway. The team flew back to Abu Dhabi in the meanwhile and whilst the two tests in the test match series were scheduled to held in the cities of Ahmadabad and Mumbai, they were shifted to Mohali and Chennai. England team came back to finish the tour and they were provided with a high level of security at every step during the same tour. It’s worth mentioning here that India then canceled their tour of Pakistan due to increased tensions between both the nations and as the Srilankan team chose to go to Pakistan in place of Indian, they fell victim to the terror attack on their bus near to the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore, Pakistan.
#4 New Zealand tour of Pakistan ( 2002)
Pakistan has always been at the centre of most of the cancelled tours and this time around it was the tour of New Zealand which was scheduled in the year 2002. Although the main reason of calling that tour off was the infamous terror attack at the WTO( World trade center) in the USA, there were some horrible incidents which were about to come for the Kiwi team.
Once the previous schedule has been called off, a new schedule has been put at the place between both the boards and a long discussion, the New Zealand cricket board gave their nod for the tour to Pakistan. The tour started without any issues and the two teams played the first test match in a usual manner. Still, it was right before the start of the second test match when a bomb exploded nearby the Kiwi team hotel and they canceled their tour immediacy whilst flying back to their country in the process. It is only due to the same terrible memories that the Kiwi team is yet to tour Pakistan in the past 15 years and the current happenings around the country don’t look too promising to let the same happen anytime soon.
#5 1996 World Cup Matches In Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has always been surrounded by the dark clouds of terror attacks and the bombings on the Central bank of Colombo was one of the forgettable memories in the same regards. It was right before the start of the 1996 world cup when this happened and most of the countries participating in the world cup shown their concerns to play in the country during the world cup.
During the course of the same events, the West Indies and Australian teams refused to play in Srilanka over security concerns and their matches were been forfeited by ICC in the wake of this decision. Still both the teams didn’t feel much impact of the forfeiture as both of them managed to reach into the semifinals of the tournament. Ironically, it was the same Sri Lankan side who defeated the Australian team in the world cup final to clinch the World cup title for the very first time. The Srilankan players were jumping out of joys and their Captain Arjuna Ranatunga even dedicated their victory to the victims of the Colombo Blasts in the country.
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