Mushtaq Ahmed backs anti-terror campaign
London: Former Pakistan international turned England spin-bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed is among a group of cricketers who have lent their support to the `Not In My Game` anti-terror campaign.
The aim is to encourage cricket fans around the world to make clear that incidents such as the one which saw the Sri Lanka team bus fired upon in Lahore in March last year, killing eight people and injuring seven Sri Lankan players and staff, have no place in sport.
That attack led to the effective suspension of international cricket in Pakistan and saw a `home` series against Australia, which Pakistan ended with a three-wicket second Test win at Headingley last week, being played in England.
"Playing cricket has always been one of the most important things in my life," Ahmed said in a statement issued today.
"This passion for the game is shared by millions of cricket fans at home and across the globe: a love of cricket unites us all, irrespective of where we`re from and whom we support," the former leg-spinner, who also starred for Sussex in English county cricket, added.
Ahmed, reflecting on the Lahore attack, said: "Atrocities like these have a terrible impact on the game we love.
"It affects everyone and everything - players, fans and morale. That`s why I`m backing Not In My Game, a campaign which sends a clear message that terrorism will not be tolerated in cricket or any other sport."
Paul Farbrace, the then Sri Lanka assistant coach who was injured in the Lahore attacks, said: "Having witnessed the attacks first hand and seen the shockwaves felt throughout the world, I am convinced of the need to gather international support in opposing acts of terror targeted at sport."
The former Kent and Middlesex wicketkeeper added: "The Not In My Game campaign is all about pulling people from all communities together to send a clear message that we will not tolerate terrorism and I urge everyone to go online now and sign the pledge at www.notinmygame.com."
Pakistan play the first of four Tests, two Twenty20 and five one-day internationals against England at Trent Bridge starting on Thursday.