Has any sport been ravaged by terrorism as much as cricket has? As the sport of the former British colonies, cricket has a presence in some volatile parts of the world, and that’s led to a host of security concerns. First, of course, came the sickening attack on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan, and now comes word that a forthcoming tournament in India must be relocated:
Organizers of the Indian Premier League, a brash and lucrative new tournament scheduled to begin in less than three weeks, announced that they had been compelled to move the game out of India. With the tournament schedule overlapping with national elections, the government could not guarantee adequate security for the games, they said.
The government maintains that, given the timing of the elections, security forces simply cannot be spared. Needless to say, India’s dueling parties are using the issue as a cudgel against each other. That’s typical enough, but here’s the real casualty:
It is difficult to overstate the love of cricket in this part of the world, and until recently, the cricket pitch had been widely seen as the rare safe zone from terrorism attacks.
Given world events, people today need the consoling distraction of sport, but in many corners of the globe they’re being deprived of it.