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INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL TOPIC A: Cricket and terrorism: Locked in an eternal war In cricket-obsessed Pakistan, last year's attack

on foreign players left the cou ntry more divided internally and isolated internationally. It lasted barely a ha lf hour and yet its impact continues to span a subcontinent almost a year later. On Mar. 3, 2009, 12 militants with guns, grenades, and rocket launchers attacke d a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team to a match at Lahore's Gaddafi Stad ium in Pakistan. Six Pakistani policemen escorting the team and two civilians we re killed while seven Sri Lankan players and an assistant coach were injured. Va rious reports blamed different groups: al-Qaeda, local Taliban, Sri Lanka's LTTE Tamil rebels, and even India's spy agency. It may never be clear why this happe ned or what forces were involved. Consequently, Pakistan was stripped of its hos ting rights for the 2011 World Cup. "How do you expect a foreign team to come to Pakistan now?" said Wasim Akram. Three points are certain. Terrorism-stricken, cricket-obsessed Pakistan has lost significant revenue, a central piece of its national identity, and any chance o f improving its often-prickly relations with neighboring India through "cricket diplomacy." In this sense, Pakistan continues to suffer cricket terrorism's horr ible effects, economically, sociologically, and politically. Since the terrorist attacks, no foreign teams have competed in Pakistan. Most re cently, South Africa decided not to tour Pakistan in October and November becaus e of security concerns. Although Pakistan has tried to make the best of the situ ation by offering to host its "home" matches on neutral territory in the United Arab Emirates as it did against New Zealand in October 2009 this brings a significan t financial loss to Pakistani cricket. "Let's forget what problems we've been going through recently and with a positiv e frame of mind support the Pakistan team to win next year's World Cup," The New s quoted Wasim, as saying in a rallying call during the trophy- unveiling ceremo ny. ------------Racism is defined as a belief that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement. Sadly cricket has a plagued history when it comes to racism while this behavior has its roots in the game s co lonial past little effort has been put by the ICC to actually look into differen t ways that it has permeated the game. Australians and English have long continued to see themselves as a class above t he rest destined to achieve bigger things. Of course this statement itself has a s racial overtone but there have been too many of these occurrences to ignore th e elephant in the room. "I have played a large part of my cricket against the Aussies. Sometimes they sa id stuff, sometimes we did and then we moved on," Wasim Akram told India's Hindu stan Times newspaper. "We did not behave like cry babies and drag it to the offi cials ... They do it constantly and much more than anyone else. So how they can go out and complain about other teams, I don't know," he added. Australia in general undoubtedly has a shameful past in terms of its racial poli cies; I won t go into the White Australia policy in great detail that was phased out decades ago. However, there have been many players from various backgrounds tha t have represented Australia over the years including Rex Sellers (India), Len P ascoe (Yugoslavia), Michael Di Venuto (Italian), Dav Whatmore (Sri Lanka) and so on.

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said on Monday that the Australian crowd wer e the most racist in world cricket. "The worst cricket fans are the Australians. They taunt the maximum; they went after (Sri Lankan spinner) Muttiah Muralithar an and he had then said that he would never tour Australia again," Wasim was quo ted as saying to Mobile ESPN. Akram's reactions come at a time when a section of Indian fans were accused of r acially abusing Aussie batsman Andrew Symonds. Wasim clarified that such things did happen in sports, but not in the subcontinent. "Indian cricket fans are very well behaved. They love the game and don't get per sonal. This is the first time it has happened here. I have played across India a nd at no venue have I had to face this problem," Wasim added. I am sure that there is still prejudice and racism in cricket, as there is in al l parts of society across the world, but hopefully it is getting better.