New Delhi : Today is a dark spot in the history of cricket. On the same day in March 2009, there was a terrorist attack on the bus of Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.
The Sri Lankan team was on a tour of Pakistan in early 2009. Both teams were to play a two-match Test series. The first match of the series was played in Karachi from 21 to 25 February, which was a draw. The second match was scheduled to be played in Lahore from March 01 to March 5, but during this time an incident came to light that created awe in the hearts of cricketers from all over the world.
The Sri Lankan team was playing the second Test of the Test series in Lahore at the time. The team was going to Gaddafi Stadium from their hotel for the third day of play, when a dozen masked terrorists attacked their team bus. Sri Lankan team captain Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera, Tharanga Paranvitana and Chaminda Vaas were injured in this attack.
Eight people, including 6 Pakistan Police personnel, were killed in the attack. After the attack, the Sri Lankan team left the tour midway and returned home. During this time, the driver named Meher Mohammad Khalil was driving the bus. Khalil’s prudence had put the entire team out of his death. He constantly drove the bus amidst heavy firing and reached the stadium.
The terrorists first targeted the bus. First fired bullets and then fired rockets. But the target missed. The bus was also attacked with a hand grenade, but the bus passed over it before the grenade exploded.
According to Khalil, “At that time I was nervous, but then the Sri Lankan players shouted and asked them to just drive away. I felt like 440 volts current. Then I don’t know what happened, I just started running away without thinking anything. “
Eventually he boarded the bus at Gaddafi Stadium within 20 minutes. In this way, Khalil’s bravery saved the lives of the players. After the attack, Sri Lankan players were airlifted from the stadium to the airport. Khalil was also honored by the President of Sri Lanka.