x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Sri Lanka ready to show 'mental fortitude'

Sri Lanka will try to put a nightmarish few months behind them as they take the field for the first time since they were attacked by militants in Lahore.

Sri Lanka will try to put a nightmarish few months behind them as they take the field for the first time after their team bus was attacked by militants in Lahore during the second Test against Pakistan. "We feel very positive as a team coming here to play cricket, our country is on the mend," said captain Kumar Sangakkara. "We are just looking forward to showing the unity of Sri Lanka that our team represent."

Sangakkara was one of seven players injured on March 3 when their bus was attacked by terrorists using guns and grenades. And he admitted the increased security since their arrival in England had been noticeable. "It was funny getting back on a bus from the airport to go to hotel when we arrived in England. "When we came here we were aware of increased security around us," he said. "We will still have a few memories, all of them not very good, but we have the mental fortitude to move on and play cricket."

Despite admitting that there has been a noticeable increase in the security, the Sri Lankans have been jittery. They called off a meeting at Oxford University after information about security arrangements were not clearly made available to them. "After Lahore the bubble burst. We thought that because we are an Asian team, and we are cricketers we would be safe in Pakistan. We were way off the mark and naive.

"The Oxford arrangements were not made known to our security team well enough in advance and that was why it was cancelled." * PA