We all would like cricket to be played in Pakistan sooner than later, says Taufel

Colombo, Sun, 07 Oct 2012 ANI

Colombo, Oct. 7 (ANI): Australian umpire Simon Taufel, who had witnessed the 2009 attack on a bus carrying Sri Lankan players in Pakistan, has said he would like international cricket to be played in Pakistan again, adding that he had fond memories of the place, people and the cricket played there.

"We all would like cricket to be played in Pakistan sooner than later. It's certainly a place I have fond memories of and of the people and cricket played there. I have officiated a lot in Pakistan," The Express Tribune quoted Taufel, as saying.

"It is important that we learn from experiences and we learnt a lot from that. The cricket that we see today is different, the security level we see these days for players, officials and venues, is more and people are more aware of those potential problems now," he added.

The machine-gun and grenade attack, which killed eight people including the driver of his bus and wounded seven Sri Lankan players on their way to play a Test in Lahore's Gaddafi stadium, had shocked the cricketing world and brought an end to foreign tours to Pakistan.

Taufel, who retires after Sunday's World Twenty20 final, said the terror attack in 2009 had left a profound impact on both cricket and him as a person.

"It (the incident) did change me personally and did change cricket. I think my family is happy seeing me sitting here. It was a difficult telephone call which I had with my wife that day," Taufel said.

The elite-panel umpire said the March 2009 attacks increased the security level in international cricket, but hoped that the sport would return to Pakistan soon. (ANI)

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