Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Craven Attack Leaves Mad World Darker and Sadder

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Craven Attack Leaves Mad World Darker and Sadder

Article excerpt

WHAT if Ricky Ponting had been shot?

What if cowards with guns had fired on the Australian team bus?

Watching images of the Australians train in South Africa, I kept thinking: It could happen. It is possible.

And that would be unthinkable, unimaginable - a blow at the belly of certainty, of expectation of our community.

All last week, a silly line from a song kept going around and around in my head: It's the end of the world as we know it.

The same line was struck in my head in September 2001 when another coward made the world a frightening, alien place.

September 11 changed the way we travelled, what wars we fought and worse, made us suspicious of each other.

After the twin towers fell, on my train trips in Sydney to and from work anyone with a backpack became the target of furtive, frightened glances. Anyone who looked a bit different was a potential terrorist.

Cricket offered a beacon of certainty and of unity in a world of madness. No matter how dire our circumstances, no matter how bleak the economic outlook, no matter what sadness or illness had struck, every year spring signalled the start of the cricket season - all was right with the world.

Terrorists want to rob us of even that small solace.

Their gift, in the vicious wake of the attack in Lahore, is a world that has become just a little darker and a little sadder.

I don't accept the idea that cricket was, until now, somehow immune, that these craven killers respected the game and what it meant to its supporters.

That would mean that terrorists have some sort of honour system.

If they do, it's not one I recognise; they're evil, vicious and depraved. Why would we expect people like that to care one atom about cricketers, fans or sporting values?

Their goals are causing misery and panic and destroying lives, governments and communities. …

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