Cricket is a big old drama queen.
An attention whore. A diva.
Who else would use a word like "crisis" about itself so often?
Take, for example, an international team's tour bus getting shelled in open air like Sonny Corleone's car in the toll booth scene of The Godfather. Is that a "big" enough issue? Does it merit crisis status? Does it get to dominate coverage? For how much time? How long before it shares it with series clincher previews and bowler injury reports?
Three days, as it turns out. This was cricinfo's homepage on 3/6:
(That's it there, in the small print, right between a piss-poor Tony Cozier prediction and Tom Moody's quiet refusal to get anywhere near the burning shitpile that is English cricket at the moment.)
Forget about the cricket angle here, or the political angle, and just try to look at it as a simple news story:
It's no secret that Pakistan has often been a punchline to many recent cricket jokes. We tend to see it as something of a rebellious stepchild, wild and moody; always up to some crazy hijinks, always screwing up, always promising better. Part of that unpredictable identity is what made it such a fun team to watch on the field, and to follow off the field. (And that's not without even touching that eternal spring of high satire that is the PCB.)
So even as we see it in our periphery, spiraling out of control, all we might do is roll our eyes, wag our fingers and tsk-tsk the crazy old antics of their boys in green. But I doubt many people imagined it would ever get this bad. I mean, rocket-launcher-at-Murali bad? Damn. As Warren Zevon might say, that shit's fucked up.
If Sri Lankans are leaving your country because of terrorism, you know you've got a problem.
(That's like Americans telling you're getting a little too fat.)