Man's shock at attack on cricket friends

AN Ipswich shop owner today described the shock he felt after discovering his friends in the Sri Lankan cricket team had been attacked by gunmen in Pakistan.

AN Ipswich shop owner today described the shock he felt after discovering his friends in the Sri Lankan cricket team had been attacked by gunmen in Pakistan.

Chaminda Delgahawattegedara, who owns CK Food and Wine, in Bramford Road, is old friends with many of the team, including captain Mahela Jayawardena and vice captain Kumar Sangakkara.

The pair were both injured during an armed attack on their team bus yesterday while en route to the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, for a Test Match.

Mr Delgahawattegedara learned about the siege yesterday. He said: “I read what had happened. It's a very sad situation for all the players.”


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Mr Delgahawattegedara, who grew up and played cricket with Jayawardena and Sangakkara in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka, tried unsuccessfully to contact his friends after the attack, in which seven players and an assistant coach were injured.

Around 12 gunmen using grenades and rocket launchers were involved in the attack, killing six policemen escorting the team bus, along with a driver.

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Batsman Jayawardene was slightly injured in the foot, while wicket keeper Sangakkara suffered a shrapnel wound to his right shoulder.

Mr Delgahawattegedara said: “Sri Lankans are very proud of the achievements of the cricket team, especially having won the World Cup in 2004.

“All of them come from different backgrounds and religions and are just there to play cricket. It's unfair for them to be targeted like that.”

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