We were caught in war, abandoned by security: Taufel | cricket | Hindustan Times
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We were caught in war, abandoned by security: Taufel

cricket Updated: Mar 05, 2009 13:36 IST
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Traumatised after surviving the deadly terror attack in Lahore, world's number one umpire Simon Taufel on Thursday lambasted Pakistan's security staff, saying they left the match officials to fend for themselves in the war-like situation.

"You tell me why no one was caught? You tell me why? Supposedly 25 armed commandos were in our convoy, and when the team bus got going again, we were left on our own," an angry Taufel told reporters on his return to the country.

"I don't have answers to those questions. I'm angry that we were isolated. I'm angry that we didn't get the same level of security that the players got. I'm angry that in our hour of need we were left on our own. I'm angry that the team got to the ground and no one came back for us," he said.

The 38-year-old umpire, who is a three-time winner of the ICC Umpire of the Year award and has stood in 55 Tests, said the brazen attack, that claimed eight lives, was nothing short of a war.

"On Tuesday morning we were caught in a war ... It's just a game of cricket, not a war. It's not the way the way life should be or sport should be," he said.

The Sri Lankan team was ambushed by masked terrorists while on its way to the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore on Tuesday. The attack left seven of their players injured and the team had to be airlifted out of Pakistan.

The match officials who were in a mini van behind the Lankan team bus were also attacked and a Pakistani umpire Ahsan Rasa was seriously injured.

Steve Davis, another Australian umpire who was in the attacked convoy and returned with Taufel on Thursday, also said that the match officials were abandoned by the security staff.

"Security were nowhere to be seen when we were left at the roundabout. So we were quite disappointed at that and quite angry," he said.

"We had all sorts of assurances before, and I'm sure the team feels that way too - they had some assurances. Despite all that, this was still able to happen. We were put in a very vulnerable position and I felt very helpless," he added.

Davis said he was naive to think that sport was immune to terror.

"Why should we be any different to any other innocent victims anywhere that get caught up in terrorism? There's no reason why we should be different," he said.