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India is like our big brother: Lanka

Sri Lanka Cricket Media Coordinator said India's decision to play will cement ties between nations.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2006 16:54 IST

Sri Lanka Cricket on Thursday criticised South Africa over pulling out from a triseries and thanked India for deciding to continue with its tour despite a fatal bomb blast early this week.

South Africa quit the one-day tournament following a powerful explosion that claimed seven lives and left several others injured less than three kms away from its hotel on Monday.

Sri Lanka Cricket chief Duleep Mendis was dismayed by the fact that the visitors based their decision on an anonymous e-mail from an unknown entity and ignored assurances by the government.

"Are you going to go by an e-mail which we don't know was sent by whom? Anybody from the South African team could have sent it. You cannot go by an anonymous e-mail," Mendis told.

"Right now there eight countries in Colombo who will be participating in the South Asian Games. There is also a South African schools team which will be playing a match."

Cricket South Africa Chief Executive Gerald Majola said in Johannesburg that an independent review of the situation in Sri Lanka had evaluated the security threat to the team was at "unacceptable levels" and the host government could not guarantee physical safety of the players.

Majola also added that following the Monday blasts a specific threat to the team was received by the South African embassy from a group called Tamil Tiger Youth.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket Media Coordinator Samantha Algama said India's decision to play a three-match series in place of the tri-series would go a long way in strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

"India is like our big brother. Their decision to continue to play has helped us in a difficult situation," Algama said.

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