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Page last updated at 09:56 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Sri Lanka cricketers arrive home

Sri Lankan cricketers return home

The Sri Lanka team have arrived home following the attacks on their bus by armed gunmen in Lahore on Tuesday.

Seven players were wounded in the attacks, which killed six policemen and a driver.

"None of us thought we would come alive out of the situation," said skipper Mahela Jayawardene.

Batsman Thilan Samarweera, the most seriously injured, will have surgery on his knee in a private Colombo hospital after suffering a bullet wound.

Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Suranka Lakmal, Thilan Thushara and assistant coach Paul Farbrace sustained minor injuries.

Jayawardene explained the civil war in Sri Lanka left them better able than other teams to cope with the atrocious attack.


"We have been brought up in a background of terrorist activities," he said.

"We are used to hearing, seeing these things. Firing, bombings. So we ducked under our seats when the firing began - we were screaming and hurt but couldn't help each other.

"It's about families, livelihoods, kids, wives, parents everybody," he continued.

"We need to look at the bigger picture and hopefully in the future we can make right decisions looking at all these and not just the small things.

Geethanjana Mendis, director general of the Sports Ministry medical unit said: "The boys are all suffering from trauma. But they should all be OK and can get back to cricket in a week to 10 days.

"Samaraweera, however, will need further surgery and treatment and he will need more time to recover."

Spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, the leading wicket-taker in Test and one-day cricket, added: "All the while bullets were being sprayed at our bus, people around me were shouting. I am glad to be back."

Former England batsman Chris Broad, the match referee in Lahore who shielded a wounded Pakistani umpire as his car was fired upon and the driver killed, is set to arrive back at Manchester airport on Wednesday morning.

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see also
CCTV 'shows Lahore gunmen escape'
04 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Pakistan cricket future in doubt
04 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Pakistan faces loss of cricket tours
03 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Gunmen shoot Sri Lanka cricketers
03 Mar 09 |  South Asia
ICC considers World Cup changes
17 Feb 09 |  Cricket
Australia postpone Pakistan tour
11 Mar 08 |  Cricket
Sri Lanka in Pakistan 2009
04 Feb 09 |  Cricket

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