Tharanga welcomes resumption of cricket in Pakistan

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Bipin Dani

Observer Correspondent

Mumbai

While Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board is considering to send its team to Pakistan, the players should only concentrate on the game and nothing else. This advice has come from Tharanga Paranvitana, one of the six victims of 2003 Lahore Test attacks.
Speaking from his home, where the 35-year-old opening batsman Paranvitana was recovering from dengue fever, he said, “it is a welcome move by our board and I support it”.
“If our team is going there the players should concentrate on cricket and forget about that fateful incident”.
On March 3, 2009, the attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team occurred when a bus carrying the players (from hotel to the ground was fired upon by 12 gunmen, near the Gaddafi Stadium. The cricketers were on their way to play the third day of the second Test. Six members of the Sri Lanka team were injured and few of them were hospitalized.
“It was more like a dream. While on our way to the ground, we heard a big sound and our bus was by four shooters. I don’t know much about the incident now, but it was like a film”. “The effects of the trauma was there for few days and it was very dramatic but sad”.
On asked, whether he would like to visit Pakistan again if the victimized players are invited to witness the matches, Tharanga Paranavitana said, “I am not too sure. I have to think about it and should consult my family first”.
“But yes, if the security is tight and experts clear the tour, the team should visit Pakistan as the fans there are deprived of good cricket”.
“Pakistan is a good side now and if the situation has improved there, it is a good sign to resume playing there”, he added.
“I think our boys have to play proper cricket. This (not playing good cricket) has not happening recently and we have hardly 2-3 senior players. They will have to guide the young players”.