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Sri Lanka’s Dhananjaya de Silva pulls out of West Indies tour after father’s murder

Dhananjaya de Silva’s father, local politician Ranjan De Silva, 62, was killed by an unidentified gunman on Thursday.

cricket Updated: May 25, 2018 15:32 IST
Agencies
Agencies
Agencies, Colombo
West Indies vs Sri Lanka,Dhananjaya de Silva,WI vs SL
File pic -- Sri Lanka cricket team batsman Dhananjaya de Silva has pulled out of the West Indies tour and the cricket board won’t be naming a replacement for him.(Reuters)

Sri Lanka cricket team batsman Dhananjaya de Silva will not travel with the team for their West Indies tour following his father’s killing, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said on Friday.

Sri Lankan media reported local politician Ranjan De Silva, 62, was killed by an unidentified gunman on Thursday, just a day before his son was to depart to the Caribbean for the three-test tour starting June 6.

“We are extremely shocked, perturbed and saddened by the great loss suffered by Dhananjaya and his family,” SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala said in a statement.

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“Sri Lanka Cricket will take every measure to support Dhananjaya at this time of sorrow and grief for him and his family, while giving him time to overcome the great pain and suffering caused by this tragedy.”

The first of three Tests against the West Indies begins at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.

No replacement

Sri Lanka’s cricket board will not replace De Silva.

“There will be no replacement for Dhananjaya,” a board official said. “Instead of a 17-member squad, we will now have 16.”

Police said an investigation was underway but no arrests had been made.

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In a statement reported by ESPNCricinfo, Dhananjaya said: “I am shocked and sad to inform all of you of a bereavement in my family, the untimely and unfortunate death of my loving dad Ranjan last night. All this almost on the eve of a very important Test series and tour of the West Indies.

“On behalf of my mother and immediate family please uphold us in your prayers and meditation. Tough as it is we will face the shocking change of events in our family going forward thro [sic] the next couple of days and will respect your understanding in terms of our privacy during this moment of grief.

“Thank you for all your concerns, sympathies and many messages received in all forms. I wish Team SL the very best during the tour of the Windies. Boys, even though I may not be around to battle the Windies while you do so my heart will always be with Team Sri Lanka.”

Sri Lanka will also miss opener Dimuth Karunaratne who fractured a finger while batting in the nets this month as he prepared for a domestic tournament.

Revised Sri Lanka squad: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Mahela Udawatte, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera, Roshen Silva, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lahiru Gamage, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, and Asitha Fernando. (AFP)

First Published: May 25, 2018 14:48 IST