Hurting Sri Lankans happy to be back in action

April 16, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lankan cricketers will be wary, changed men when they line-up at the IPL, their first foreign assignment since they were caught up in the bloodbath of Lahore.

On March 3, gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus en route for the third day of the second Test against Pakistan in the city.

Eight Pakistanis died; seven of the tourists, as well as their assistant coach, were wounded.

“We have all had to grow up a bit more and not be so naive to think that sportsmen are somehow immune from the troubles of the world,” Sri Lanka’s new skipper Kumar Sangakkara told cricinfo.com.

“The Munich Olympics were probably the last time a sports team has been targeted like this. We lived in a bubble thinking we were untouchable.

“That has gone now. The sense of security has disappeared. These threats are real, and not just confined to one section of society.”

The 2009 IPL, which starts on Saturday, was shifted to South Africa after Indian authorities admitted that they could not give security guarantees as the tournament clashed with elections in the country.

Sri Lanka sports minister Gamini Lokuge regretted the IPL was moved out of India, whos