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Why do terrorists target cricket?

March 13, 2009 12:07 IST

Is cricket anti-Islam? For terrorists, it is.

Citing a Lashkar-e-Tayiba magazine, Zarb-e-Toiba, Intelligence Bureau officials say terrorists list many reasons to target cricket.

Cricket, the LeT says, is basically a Western game. So, the LeT says there was no need for Pakistan, in particular, to follow it like a religion.

That is primarily why, IB officials say, the Sri Lankan cricket team is attacked in Lahore.

 The magazine reportedly says "cricket bat was given to Pakistanis in exchange for swords".

The intention of the British, it says, was to ensure that Muslims lay down their arms so that they can't fight. Another question which LeT asks is why should people in Pakistan fight over a game of cricket.

"People commit suicide when Pakistan loses a cricket match, but none seem to be bothered when Lashkar militants lose their lives in Kashmir. Besides, they also point out that people take a day off to watch cricket matches. However, when it comes to jihad no one seems to have the time. Seeking a ban on cricket in Pakistan, the LeT sees cricket an intoxicant for Pakistanis who forget the path of jihad.

IB sleuths, however, add that all those "theories are more for public consumption".

"These are very politically directed statements which sound good for the consumption of people in Pakistan. Terrorists basically have no other agenda, other than cause mayhem. Terror groups target cricket only to gain attention."

Vicky Nanjappa