Players are recovering psychologically after Lahore attack: Sangakkara

March 12th, 2009 - 9:04 pm ICT by IANS  

By P. Karunakharan
Colombo, March 12 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s newly appointed cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara said the players were on the road to recovering psychologically after facing the terror attack in Lahore March 3.

“The players are physically fit and Thilan (Samaraweera) is expected to be back with the team within the next one and a half month. But mentally the players are yet to recover fully, though we are happy with the progress so far,” Sangakkara told IANS Thursday.

He said trauma counselling was being provided to the players and their family members are contributing a lot for their recovery psychologically.

A team of 12 young terrorists ambushed, sprayed bullets and fired rocket propelled grenades at the convoy carrying Sri Lankan players to the Gaddafi International Stadium to play the third day of the second and last Test against hosts Pakistan March 3.

Seven players including Sangakkara and the team’s assistant coach were injured and six Pakistani police officials providing protection to the bus carrying the players were killed in the incident that shook the entire cricketing world.

The wicket-keeper batsman, who had been vice-captain since 2006, was officially named Sri Lanka’s new captain Thursday afternoon. Muttiah Muralitharan has been named as Sri Lanka vice-captain and their first assignment will be the ICC World Twenty20 in England in June.

“I am humbled to be following in the footsteps of Mahela (Jayawardene), who was such a successful captain for Sri Lanka during the past three years. We saw eye-to-eye on many things while I was his deputy and I will now continue on the same road, trying to help bring Sri Lanka consistent success in all forms of the game,” Sangakkara said.

The 31-year-old stylish left-hander is one of the world’s premier wicketkeeper batsman having scored over 6,000 runs in both versions of the game.

Holding averages of 54.99 in Tests and 36.31 in One-day internationals, Sangakkara has taken over 380 catches and effected 80 stumpings in both versions of the game.

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