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India vs Sri Lanka T20 game to go ahead despite state of emergency in island nation

The opening game of the 2018 Nidahas Trophy between India and Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo will go ahead despite the island nation imposing a 10-day emergency following communal clashes in Kandy.

cricket Updated: Mar 06, 2018 16:29 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
India vs Sri Lanka,Nidahas Trophy,Indian cricket team
Captains Dinesh Chandimal (C) of Sri Lanka, Rohit Sharma (R) of India and Mahmudullah Riyad (L) of Bangladesh pose behind the Nidahas tri-nation Twenty20 tournament series trophy in Colombo on Sunday.(AFP)

The build-up to the opening game of the 2018 Nidahas Trophy match between India and Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday has been marred by tension with the Sri Lankan government imposing a 10-day emergency following communal clashes in Kandy.

However, both Indian and Sri Lankan officials assured that the T20 match will go ahead in Colombo.

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In a statement released by the Indian officials, they said: “The situation in picture is in Kandy and not Colombo. After talking to concerned security personnel (Ministerial security division – in charge of team security), we have understood that the situation is completely normal in Colombo.”

Sri Lankan cricket officials added there was no threat to the game. “The situation is tense in Kandy, which is far away from Colombo. The situation is normal in the capital and there is no threat to the match. However, there will be increase in security,” an official said.

Curfew was imposed in Digana district of Kandy, 156 km away from Colombo, in the aftermath of the tense situation that erupted after reports of arson following the death of a 41-year-old who was allegedly assaulted by group of four people.

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According to reports, tension has been growing between Buddhist and Muslim communities in Sri Lanka over the past year with some Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites.

The T20 tri-series is being played to celebrate the 70th year of Sri Lanka’s Independence. Along with India and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh is the third team in the competition.

First Published: Mar 06, 2018 15:18 IST