Terrorists considered attacking Ashes squads

I’m not altogether sure what to make of this revelation::

A friend of one of the four bombers who killed 52 people when they bombed trains and buses in the British capital on July 7 last year told The Sunday Times newspaper that the Al-Qaeda cell was initially ordered to kill the England and Australian cricket teams during the Edgbaston Test in Birmingham.

The claim was made by a family friend of bus bomber Hasib Hussain, who killed 13 people in London’s Tavistock Square. According to the 32-year-old friend, whose family has links to a terrorist training camp in Kotli in northern Kashmir, the bombers were instructed to get jobs as stewards at the Edgbaston cricket ground and to spray sarin gas inside the changing rooms.

The second Test between England and Australia began in Edgbaston on August 4 last year.

The friend – whose real name was not published – said the attack may have been called off and the Tube bombings planned instead because one of the bombers, Shehzad Tanweer, was a cricket fan.

It’s a scary thought, but sooner or later one must expect a terrorist strike on a major sporting event. Yesterday England played Macedonia in front of a crowd of 71,000. And a crowd of 100,000 is expected for the first day of the fourth Test at Melbourne.

Juicy targets for psychotic terrorists.

Sri Lankan tragedies keep on piling up

Sri Lanka has had more then its share of tragedies, and it appears that the country is heading into civil war again. A bomb blast in central Columbo today has killed seven people and puts into question the triangular tournament that was due to start today. Sadly, the ability of Sri Lanka to host international cricket events has to be in some doubt.

It seems that the Tamil Tiger rebel group has ruled out peace talks, which is just tragic, given the optimism that was so prevelant in the country just a few years ago. In the circumstances, international cricket will be the least of the victims of the fighting.