Psychologists help Sri Lanka cricketers

March 8, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka has hired psychologists to help its national cricket team overcome the trauma they suffered in the militant attacks in Pakistan, a doctor said Sunday.

The four specialists would work “to mentally boost our cricketers, help them heal their mental scars and overcome the tragedy,” Geethanjana Mendis, head of the Sri Lankan sports ministry medical unit, told AFP.

The convoy of players, officials and coaches on their way to the second Test match in Lahore on Tuesday was ambushed by gunmen firing automatic weapons, grenades and a rocket launcher.

Seven Sri Lankan players and their British assistant coach Paul Farbrace were injured in the attack and the squad was flown home immediately.

Thilan Samaraweera underwent major surgery in Colombo to remove a bullet from his left thigh, while Tharanga Paranavitana had a bullet taken out of his chest, and Ajantha Mendis had shrapnel extracted from his back and head.

“The (three) players will need about two months rest to recover before starting on light training. But they are all doing well. They can be discharged within a few days,” Geethanjana Mendis said.

Six policemen and two civilians