Umpire tells of terror attack horror

Umpire tells of terror attack horror

An Australian umpire caught up in the deadly ambush on the Sri Lankan cricket team said he felt let down by Pakistan\’s security arrangements for the tour.


Steve Davis, who arrived at Melbourne Airport on Thursday morning en route to his home in Adelaide, appeared calm but still shaken by his ordeal where gunmen killed six Pakistani police officers and two civilians.

Davis was in a vehicle convoy transporting the Sri Lankan team to the cricket ground in the Pakistan city of Lahore when gunmen opened fire on Tuesday.

He described how he slumped to the floor as he heard gunfire and then saw the windows being shot in and glass shattering around them.

The driver of their bus was shot dead and two others inside were seriously wounded.

He recalled feeling helpless as the security for the van – which was behind the Sri Lankan team bus – appeared to have abandoned them during the shooting.

\’Vulnerable position\’

“We were certainly left without any security in our van when we were being fired upon,” he said.

“The security obviously went with the Sri Lankan bus when they managed to get away. We were left there and no one came back for us.”

His van remained at the scene for about eight minutes until a police officer arrived and drove the bus to safety in the stadium, he said.

“There\’s a bit of anger there that we were let down. We had all sorts of assurances before and I am sure the team feels that way too.

“Despite all that, this was still able to happen and we were put in a very vulnerable position, and felt very helpless.”

Grenade thrown at bus

He also described the surreal scene where a grenade was thrown under the Sri Lankan team bus which failed to explode and a rocket was launched, just missing the bus.

“They were obviously trying to immobilise the Sri Lankan bus and they missed the driver when they tried to shoot him and he had the sense to seize the opportunity to get the bus out of there,” he said.

“But we were still there and we were fired upon.

“I couldn\’t fathom this was happening to a group of umpires who were here to umpire cricket.

“We didn\’t have much time to think about anything else other than just fearing for our lives.”

\’Too early\’ to lay blame

Mr Davis said it was too early to lay blame anywhere, but said questions needed to be asked about the security arrangements.

“I don\’t know who was responsible for it,” he said.

“I don\’t like to make wild accusations. I know that we were let down. Someone needs to find out … a lot of questions (need) to be asked.”

He said Tuesday\’s attack on the cricketers had changed the game, but said it was too early for him to say whether it would stop him from travelling to other areas to umpire cricket.

“I was naive to think cricket was above all that,” he said.

“Why should we be any different to any other innocent victims that get caught up in terrorism?”