Tuesday, March 03, 2009

"Everybody is safe and okay at the moment" - Sanath Jayasuriya | Sri Lankan Team attacked in Pak

At least five Sri Lankan cricketers have been injured after gunmen attacked a bus carrying the team on its way to play Pakistan in Lahore.

Thilan Samaraweera, Ajantha Mendis, Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Thushara were hurt after around a dozen gunmen opened fire on the team bus as it neared the Gaddafi Stadium.

"We were told that there was a shooting incident while the team was on its way to the stadium. The players have returned to the hotel," Sri Lanka sports minister Gamini Lokuge told Indian news channel CNN-INB.

He added two players were still receiving treatment in hospital, including Samaraweera, who was hit in the thigh."

The Test and the remainder of the Sri Lankan tour has been cancelled, a huge blow to Pakistan after the Indian team pulled out of a tour following the Mumbai terror attacks in November.

Five Pakistani policemen were killed in the attacks and grenades and rocket launchers recovered in what Punjab governor Salmaan Tahseer called "an organised attack".

Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya told CNN-IBN he had spoken to Sangakkara) and "everybody is safe and okay at the moment".

"Mahela Jayawardene was also injured, but they are all safe at the moment," he added.

"When we played three one-day games there we had no problems. That is why the team went back to Pakistan again for the Test series.

"We had a good game in Karachi and then they went to Lahore where this unfortunate incident has happened.

"These are things you cannot control and the players are shocked at the moment. This is obviously something they haven't gone through before as a cricket team. I feel for them."

Jayasuriya continued: "I can't say at the moment what impact this would have on Pakistan cricket, but the priority at the moment is to see that the Sri Lankan players are safe."
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