Johannesburg, Mar. 4 (ANI): Former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson, who had criticized cricket teams for canceling their Pakistan tours due to security fears, now concedes "everything has changed" after the terror attack on Lankan cricketers in Lahore.
"I've always genuinely believed it's safe to play cricket in Pakistan. It hasn't been safe to do a lot of other things in Pakistan. But certainly, this (Lahore attack) changes everything. It has shaken me. It's horrendous. I never thought these things would happen to sports people," Fox Sports quoted Lawson, as saying.
Lawson said he was rocked by the attack, which occurred less than 500 meters from where he lived at the national cricket academy during his tenure as Pakistan coach. He was sacked last October.
"I know the exact spot where it's happened. I've been around the Liberty roundabout a thousand times. I know the flower sellers there and the guy with the fish in his plastic bags, and the guy giving shaves on the side of the road. I know every blade of grass there. It's very close to home. To suggest people would come out with automatic weapons and rocket launchers and fire them at anybody, let alone a cricket team, is shocking," Lawson said.
After getting the news of Lahore attack, Lawson immediately called Pakistan team's fitness trainer David Dwyer to find out if he was safe.
Last year, Lawson criticized Ponting for pulling out of the Pakistan tour, and accused England of double standards when they cut short their tour of India after terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed over 170 people.
He now admits that future of cricket in the subcontinent deserves to be secured.
"We saw what happened in Mumbai, the LTTE (Liberation of Tamil Tigers) in Sri Lanka. We're talking about a major part of the cricket world. The subcontinent is the hub of world cricket. If terrorists wanted to destabilize nations or organizations, they're doing a good job. It's how people react to it - hopefully, it will galvanize the authorities in to attacking these things more thoroughly," Lawson said. (ANI)