Sangakkara recalls terror of bus attack

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The Independent Online

In a compelling address last night on what cricket means to Sri Lanka, their former captain, Kumar Sangakkara, spoke of the day the team coach was ambushed in Pakistan. Until that moment, Sangakkara told his audience at Lord's, he could not truly relate to the experience of thousands of his countrymen caught up in the civil war.

"I had great sympathy and compassion for them, but had no real experience with which I could draw parallels," he said in the 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Lecture. Sangakkara (above) then described the incident as the team bus was interrupted on its journey for the third day of the second Test in 2009.

"Having been asked to leave early instead of waiting for the Pakistan bus, we were anticipating a day of hard toil for our bowlers," he said. Seconds later bandits started shooting at the bus.

"Then the bullets started to hit," said Sangakkara. "It was like rain on a tin roof. The bus was at a standstill, an easy target. Suddenly, Mahela [Jayawardene] shouts saying he thinks he has been hit in the shin. I am laying next to Thilan [Samaraweera]. He groans in pain as a bullet hits him in the back of the thigh. As I turn my head to look at him I feel something whizz past my ear and a bullet thuds into the side of the seat, the exact spot where my head had been."

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