Mothers of Sri Lankan pair lucky to survive tsunami

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The Independent Online

International cricketers Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Chandana said their mothers were lucky to survive after being injured in the tsunami that has killed at least 30,000 in Sri Lanka.

Jayasuriya, the former Sri Lanka captain, said his 60-year-old mother, Breeda, was seriously injured while she was on her weekly trip to buy vegetables in Matara. The town, about 80 miles south of the capital Colombo, was one of the areas worst affected by the disaster.

"Every Sunday, she goes to the beach front to buy fresh vegetables and she was caught in the tidal waves," Jayasuriya said. He explained that other family members, who also live at Matara, had escaped with only minor injuries and that his home had been damaged.

Leg-spinner Chandana's mother was saved from the tide but was still in a state of shock after seeing one of her rescuers dragged away to their death by the waves.

Two other Sri Lankan players suffered losses in the disaster. Nuwan Zoysa's maternal aunt and three relatives of Dilhara Fernando's wife were among the dead.

Sri Lanka's cricketers had been in New Zealand with their national team when the waves hit on Boxing Day. The tour was abandoned after just one of the seven scheduled matches, and the players had returned to Sri Lanka by Saturday.

Asian cricket officials yesterday selected the India captain Sourav Ganguly to lead a 14-member team of top players from four South Asian Test nations to meet a world side next week in a charity cricket match for Asian tsunami victims.

Sachin Tendulkar was also named in the squad despite being advised to rest his left elbow.

The first leg of the day-night limited-overs match will be held next Monday at Australia's Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The team includes six players from India and five from Sri Lanka - two of the countries hardest hit by the tsunami. Two Pakistanis and one Bangladeshi will make up the remainder of the squad. Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer will direct the side. The second leg of the charity match is likely to be held in March in either Sri Lanka or India.

Asian Squad (v World XI, Monday, Sydney): *Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Marvan Atapattu, Chaminda Vaas, Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Shoaib Akhtar, Yousuf Youhana, Alok Kapali.