Lahore terrorist attack 'burst our bubble', admits Sangakkara

Pressure, Kumar Sangakkara reminded everyone yesterday, was being shot at, not playing a game of cricket. But in 15 minutes during which he was articulate, passionate, sensible and profound, the captain of Sri Lanka also made clear the importance of cricket to life.

Sri Lanka have not played since their coach was attacked by terrorists as they made their way to the stadium on the third day of the Second Test against Pakistan in March. Seven players were injured as bullets flew through the vehicle.

"We thought we were Asian, we were a cricket team, we were never going to be attacked in Pakistan," said Sangakkara as he talked of his team's preparations for the World Twenty20. "We were quite wide of the mark and quite naïve."

Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan, the team's leading player as well as team manager Brendon Kuruppu withdrew last week from a speaking engagement at the Oxford Union because of security issues.

"We had requested after Lahore for increased security and to make sure security arrangements were in place because terrorism is now a global threat and the bubble we lived in before Lahore has burst," said Sangakkara. "The Oxford arrangements were unfortunately not made known to our security team well enough in advance for them to set up the necessary arrangements there and that is why it was cancelled.

"At the end of the day after Lahore the thing we have realised is that we have gone through a terrible time but life goes on. We have got to play cricket because cricket for us means normalcy. Of course we will still have a few memories, all of them not very good."

Barely had the team arrived home in Sri Lanka than the civil war entered its horrific final phase with Sinhalese government forces mounting attacks on the strongholds of the Tamil rebels but Sangakkara is in no doubt about the part cricket could play in the healing process. He said: "Cricket over the years has been that one unifying force, a passion of the whole country. It transcends religion, caste, race and politics and that's the greatest thing we as a team represent."

Many more words will be spoken in the next three weeks of the World Twenty20. None will be wiser.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones