Rex Clementine, in Island, 6 October 2017, where the title runs “Lakmal recalls Lahore attack”
Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal is one of the two internationally active cricketers who was in the Sri Lankan team bus when terrorists opened fire at the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009. Lakmal and Chamara Kapugedera are the only players who are still playing international cricket from the 15-member squad. Eight years after the attack Lakmal has emerged as Sri Lanka’s leading fast bowler. He recalled the painful memories of the attack and the difficulties he goes through.
“That was my first Sri Lanka tour with the team. I don’t like to talk about that day because mentally I was hurt a lot. We could have been dead. We were lucky. Lord Buddha saved us,” Lakmal said in response a question from ‘The Island’.
“It was like going for a war without weapons. You are inside a bus and four guys firing at you and you are like sitting ducks. I thought I was dead,” added Lakmal.
The incident left several Sri Lankan players hurt with Thilan Samaraweera, Tharanga Paranavithana, Ajantha Mendis and Lakmal the worst affected.
“A splinter pierced into my left leg. It is still on my leg. When I am at airports, I get into trouble as the metal detectors won’t let me pass. What happens then is that the manager comes and explains and then the security people let me go.”
“Why I have not operated is that the doctors tell me that surgery will take several months to recover. That means I will miss out on quite a bit of cricket. The other problem is that I can’t get an MRI scan done. I don’t know if I will ever remove it. Will ask the doctors and if they feel that it is not harmful for my body I will let it be.”
The final T-20 International is scheduled for Lahore and Lakmal also said that he is willing to go to the city if selected. “We have to decide as a team and whatever the decision the team takes I will abide by it. I have never worked for my whims and fancies and if I get selected and all are willing to go then I will go.”