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‘War has touched everyone’

Kumar Sangakkara wore a yet unseen hat when he spoke to the media. He discussed issues ranging from the war in Sri Lanka to terrorism in Pakistan with a bit of cricket thrown in, Venkat Ananth reports.

cricket Updated: Jun 01, 2009 00:48 IST
Venkat Ananth

He’s A student of law, a thoughtful cricketer and an articulate captain. But Kumar Sangakkara wore a yet unseen hat when he spoke to the media on Sunday. He discussed issues ranging from the war in Sri Lanka to terrorism in Pakistan with a bit of cricket thrown in.

“It was funny getting on a bus from the airport to the hotel. At the end of Lahore, we’ve just realized that we had gone through a terrible time, life goes on. Cricket for us means normalcy,” said Sangakkara. “Of course, we'll still have memories, all of them not very good.

“But we’ve got the mental fortitude to move ahead and getting on the bus was the first good thing to put our minds back to cricket. The bubble we were in, before Lahore, burst. We believed we were Asian, cricketers and therefore will never be attacked.”

Sangakkara felt optimistic about security arrangements for the team post-Lahore. “We were a bit naive. One can never have a 100 per cent guarantee over security, but the arrangements here are good enough for us to concentrate on our cricket.”

When specifically asked about a couple of front-page stories that made major headlines around the world, Sangakkara said, “It is an opinion. Everyone is entitled to theirs. We have diplomatic channels and political experts to deal with those things. We just feel positive to come here to play our cricket. Our team is a prime example of the harmony and unity that Sri Lanka represents.”

On the war having just concluded in Sri Lanka, Sangakkara felt that “twenty-six years is a long time. I have grown up with it. A lot of people in the north, the east and other parts of Sri Lanka have suffered”.

“Everyone in Sri Lanka is looking forward to moving on. In this modern world, we just have to show that we have the capacity to move on and live as equals. The war has touched every single person in Sri Lanka.”