Babar Azam, Shahid Afridi moved to safety after explosion near stadium

Babar Azam
Pakistan captain Babar Azam. File photo: Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed

Quetta: Top Pakistani cricketers, including captain Babar Azam and former skipper Shahid Afridi, among others, were taken to the safety of the dressing room after a terror attack a few miles down the road where they were playing on Sunday.

An exhibition match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at the Nawab Akbar Bugti Stadium was halted for some time following an explosion in the Police Lines area, which left five people injured.

A senior police officer said that rescue work had been completed at the site and the injured had been taken to hospital.

The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on Sunday. It stated that the security officials were targeted in the blast.

The exhibition match between PSL sides Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi was organised by the Pakistan Cricket Board after pressure from Baloch fans that Quetta also get the status of a PSL venue.

"As soon as the explosion happened, as a precautionary measure, the match was stopped and players taken to the dressing room for a while. Later, after the green signal, the match resumed," the police official said.

The ground was packed for the match.

Sports activity in Quetta, the capital of the restive Balochistan province, has come to a standstill for the last several years due to fragile security situation and the constant threat of terror attacks.

The TTP has stepped up terror attacks in recent days. Last week, 80 people were killed and scores injured in a suicide attack in the police lines in Peshawar. 

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