Pakistan umpire Raza returns to cricket | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan umpire Raza returns to cricket

Umpire Ahsan Raza, who was criticially injured during the attacks on the Sri Lankan team on March 3, returned to international cricket in the third one-day between Pakistan and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

cricket Updated: Nov 09, 2009 18:11 IST

Umpire Ahsan Raza, who was criticially injured during the attacks on the Sri Lankan team on March 3, returned to international cricket in the third one-day between Pakistan and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

"I am thrilled and excited to no end," Raza told AFP.

"Today I am alive, and making a return to international cricket is very sensational for me and makes my belief in the Almighty stronger."

The 35-year-old, who will be the reserve umpire in the match here, had to undergo surgery to repair a collapsed right lung and a damaged liver after being shot when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.

The team bus and the van of the officials - match umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis of Australia, television umpire Nadeem Ghouri, reserve umpire Raza (both from Pakistan) and match-referee Chris Broad (England) - were ambushed when they were travelling to the Gaddafi Stadium.

Seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach were injured besides killing eight people, including the driver of the van, in the attacks which ended all hopes of Pakistan staging international cricket in the near future.

Raza remained in the intensive care unit for 26 days and needed two-dozen bottles of blood to survive.

"It was a miracle that I survived, because of the prayers of my wife, my daughters and my people. Doctors are surprised that I am now fit to stand in international cricket," said Raza, who returned to first-class cricket two months ago.