Pakistan not alone, India also unsafe to tour: Crowe

Martin Crowe on Monday admitted that terror attacks were possible anywhere in the world but said probability was much higher in the sub-continent.

updated: March 09, 2009 09:45 IST
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Former New Zealand cricketer Martin Crowe on Monday said India has joined Pakistan as an unsafe country to tour due to terror strikes on its major cities like Mumbai and Delhi last year.

"The time has come for the cricketing world to accept that touring Pakistan is an absolute no go zone ever again. While sad for their talented top cricketers, Pakistan is completely unsafe and contemplation of playing there again has got to stop. But they are not alone.

"In May last year, just 24 hours before I flew with the IPL Royal Challengers to Jaipur for a nothing Twenty20 match, eight bombs went off three-minutes apart killing over 100 civilians and tourists as it ripped through the crowded Pink Palace," Crowe wrote in a local daily.

"We were forced to play the match a day later in front of an empty stadium and 3000 soldiers. It was a joke to be told to play and an affront to the families of those killed," he said.

"That's why you can't just isolate Pakistan. Lives have been taken on a regular basis from terror attacks in India over the last year in major cities like Mumbai in November, Bangalore in July and Delhi in September. These were significant and show it's happening almost monthly," Crowe said.

"Having toured all around India with the IPL, the worst and scariest aspect is that when you leave your hotel you have no further control on anything. Once you start travelling by road you are at the mercy of every little tuk tuk, every intersection and every traffic jam," Crowe added.

The former Kiwi captain admitted that terror attacks were possible anywhere in the world but said probability was much higher in the sub-continent.

"Maybe, though, someone, even the most famous of all, Sachin Tendulkar, might get severely hurt or disabled from a flying piece of shrapnel or glass.

"Yes, it could happen in London, or Paris, or Madrid, as it did in the most alarming manner of all in New York. But the reality is that the odds and the feeling of those odds shortening are against you in the sub-continent," he said.

Crowe vowed never to return to Pakistan in the wake of the terror attack on Sri Lankan players in Lahore, saying he could no longer trust "anyone" in the strife-torn country.

"Bottom line is that never again will anyone trust anyone or anything in that environment. There is no longer a thing called a "guarantee". That's now hogwash," he said.