Wednesday, March 10, 2010

‘Sportsmen must not surrender to terrorism’

Legendary cricketers like Steve Waugh and Ian Botham adjured the athletes worldwide to not let terrorism affect sport anywhere in the world including India, which is set to host the extremely popular IPL and Commonwealth Games later this year.

Waugh said the terror attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan last year has changed the safety perception of the players but was of the view that players should not surrender to terrorism by skipping sport events.

“Sportspersons are more concerned now a days. Earlier they used to feel they are safe but in the last couple of years that perception has changed because of the way the Sri Lankan players were attacked in Pakistan.

“The entire landscape has changed but as sportspersons, we shouldn’t give in to terrorism and must travel to play the game,” said the two-time World Cup winning captain.

Ian Botham, former England all-rounder, also echoed similar views, saying, “We got to take a stand. We have so many tournaments lined up. In India we have IPL and Commonwealth Games. In South Africa we have the Soccer World Cup then there is the World Twenty20 in the West Indies and the World Cup in the sub-continent and Olympics in London in 2012.

“We just can’t allow one phone call before the events to disrupt the tournaments. We shouldn’t surrender to terrorism. My suggestions will be to go and enjoy the game,” Botham said.

There are some apprehensions among players about travelling to India but India’s World Cup winning captain Kapil exuded confidence that the Indian government will do whatever it takes to ensure safety of the athletes.

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