sport news Deadly attack in Lahore has not put former Sri Lanka assistant coach Paul ... trends now
Paul Farbrace can still hear the voice of Tillakaratne Dilshan as he calmly went about saving the lives of the Sri Lankan team and their staff on the day cricket faced terror in Lahore.
‘Dilshan was shouting at our coach driver saying, “reverse, reverse, reverse, left, left, left” in his very distinctive accent,’ said the then Sri Lanka assistant coach. ‘He had put his head above the parapet when our coach was being shot at.
‘I can hear him now as clear as day. We were under fire and the driver was trying to steer us to safety while still ducking for cover. Eventually Dilshan yelled, “drive, drive, drive” and we got away. What he did took unbelievable bravery and whatever he achieved in cricket he will always be a hero for getting us out of that situation. He saved our lives.’
Paul Farbrace was injured during the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan in 2009
Six police officers and two civilians died in that attack on the Sri Lanka team in March 2009 by 12 gunmen outside the Gaddafi Stadium, where they were heading for the third day of the second Test against Pakistan.
‘It was horrendous. People died trying to help us get to a game and I feel for their families on a daily basis because they were innocent people just doing their jobs,’ said Farbrace, who was working alongside Trevor Bayliss.
‘We were incredibly lucky none of us were too badly injured. I was hit by shrapnel, had two operations on my arm and spent eight days in hospital. Ajantha Mendis had operations on the back of his head and Thilan Samaraweera was the only one actually hit by a bullet in his thigh. He spent a fair bit of time in hospital. So there were four or five of us injured and it was pretty horrible, but we were the fortunate ones.’
It was an incident that stopped international cricket in Pakistan for 10 years before, appropriately, Sri Lanka led the return in 2019. Now, when England take to the Rawalpindi Stadium on Thursday for the first of three Tests, the comeback will be complete.
Sri Lanka batsman Thilan Samaraweera was seriously injured after being shot in the leg
‘For international cricket not to have been played in Pakistan for so long, and for a generation of players to never have played in their own country, was a very tough legacy,’ Farbrace told Sportsmail.
‘It would be like football in England stopping for 10 years. It takes away idols and heroes. But the Pakistani people are getting to see them on home soil again now and that is