In a country fanatical about cricket, the attack in Lahore was particularly traumatic.
The sport’s ruling body admits international cricket will not be returning to Pakistan for the forseeable future. For those behind the attack it appears that was the plan. One man with intimate knowledge of both cricket and politics is former Pakistan captain-turned opposition leader Imran Khan. He said: “It certainly is a disaster for Pakistan sport but I think much more it was targeted at Pakistan’s economy and at destabilising the country. “These terrorists were not al-Qaeda, these terrorists have nothing to do with the Taliban. These were other terrorists and I would not be surprised if these were international players backed by outsiders.” The whole Indian sub-continent follows cricket with an almost religious devotion. In terms of its symbolic impact, the attack in Lahore was the region’s 9/11.