It was inevitable. There was no way the Champions Trophy would have gone on in Pakistan. There have been more peaceful times when teams have refused to travel there. There was absolutely no chance any white team would travel there now.
Although I feel sad for the PCB and Pakistan itself, I can’t help but wonder if they brought this upon themselves. Years of bleeding their neighbors has eventually meant that they themselves are bleeding now, and still they can’t stop their mischief in Kashmir.
Coming back to cricket, it is a bit surprising that players like Graeme Smith who had no qualms or worries about security when playing for Jaipur are now making so much noise about traveling to Pak. I guess, eventually everyone is human and the amount of ‘risk’ depends on the monetary gain too.
Even though you can in no way compare Pak to India, when someone makes a big deal out of bombs going off in a country you would assume it wouldn’t matter which country it went off in. Australia have always been precious about safety concerns. I once remember reading a travel warning for Bangkok in 2006. Needless to say nothing has happened in that country till now worth scaring people off, except probably the disastrous Tsunami in 2004.
What next for Pak? For sure no one except India, Bangladesh, SL or WI will be traveling for tours there for the next one year. Also the amount of scheduling to Pak is also coming down, with most countries keen on visiting/hosting India as much as possible. After all, that is where the big bucks lie now!
Even India is reluctant to host or travel to Pak now worrying about overkill. Already India-Pak matches have come quite a long way down from what they were in the 80s and the 90s. One reason why they were so big was that they played each other a lot less and mainly in neutral venues like Sharjah or Aus. The decline in intensity has been consistent with the decline in world class players from Pak.
It would be interesting to note how cricket in Pak progresses now. The PCB is already running under heavy losses. Blows like this might just kill the team for good and ICL’s Lahore Badshahs might just be the team that represents Pak! With players like Inzy, Abdur Razzaq etc playing for them, not a tough call that!