Sri Lankan players to be airlifted to Dubai - Sri Lanka Guardian

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sri Lankan players to be airlifted to Dubai

(March 03, Colombo/Lahore, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lanka on Tuesday called off their cricket tour of Pakistan with immediate effect following an attack on the team bus in which six players were injured.The Sri Lankan players will be airlifted to Lahore airport for Dubai. Pakistan Television (PTV) showed live the Sri Lanka players being airlifted from Gadaffi Stadium by a Pakistan Air Force helicopter

According to Pakistan Cricket Board officials, a helicopter is being sent to Gadaffi Stadium to airlift Sri Lankan players who are still at the ground to transport them to the airport from where they will be taken to Dubai.

Sri Lanka Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona confirmed that the tour is over.

"The tour has come to an end. We are in touch with Pakistan authorities and their Cricket Board. The players will be coming home as soon as possible," Kohona told the reporters.

At least six Sri Lankan cricketers were injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire at them killing five police personnel escorting the team to the Gaddafi Stadium for the third day of the second Test.

The injured cricketers include Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera, Mahela Jayawardene, Tharanga Paranavitana and Chaminda Vaas.

"They are doing everything possible to make the players comfortable and the injured are being taken care of. (Pakistan) Government has assured us all the security," he said.

Sri Lanka Cricketers' Association Secretary Graeme Labrooy said he spoke to captain Mahela Jayawardene and found out that everyone was safe barring injuries to some players.

"I just spoke to Jayawardene. All are safe, barring injuries to a few players," he said.

"Six players are injured, including (Thilan) Samaraveera who is shot in leg. He undergoing treatment in hospital while others are in Gaddafi Stadium," he said.

-Sri Lanka Guardian

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