Kumar Sangakkara Feels Positive for England's Sri Lanka Tour

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Kumar Sangakkara Feels Positive for England’s Sri Lanka Tour 

Kumar Sangakkara Feels Positive for England’s Sri Lanka Tour

The former cricketer and captain of Sri Lanka Kumar Sangakkara believe that England’s tour of the island will be carried on, safely, despite the multiple terror attacks.

A series of bombs exploded on the Easter holiday killing more than 250 while injuring 500 people. The attack, claimed by an Islamic State, took place in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21.

The news had terrorised the world and led to fears of Sri Lanka considered as a no-tour place like Pakistan.

While amongst the chaos, England are due to play Tests in Colombo and Galle next March.

Sangakkara hoped his own nation would not face a fate similar to Pakistan

Pakistan are forced to play their home games in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ever since 2009. Pakistan’s armed militants targeted Sri Lanka‘s team bus in 2009 when they were heading to Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

The then vice-captain, Sangakkara had been among the other team members who got injured during the attack in 2009.

In a statement, he expressed how terrifying it is to feel unsafe in one’s own country. Sangakkara hoped that they wouldn’t face the tragic experience of not playing in their own country as few Pakistan players did.

“I was in the bus in 2009 when the Sri Lanka team got attacked. And I understand the reservations and the security concerns that come after such an incident or even as an observer looking from the outside in,” Sangakkara told reporters at Lord’s on Thursday

“We need a very open conversation with the necessary security aspects that are in place. We make sure there are independent assessments done, that the boards connect openly and fully,” he added.

Sangakkara believes cricket has always surpassed the limits of boundaries, and it shouldn’t become the next victim of politics.

“We always talk about cricket transcending politics and that has to be the case with tours, as long as security and safety is assured. And there is an honest commitment from every country to put those security measures in place.”

He said Sri Lanka, which endured a long and bloody civil war until 2009, had managed to host cricket tours, including a World Cup “in very trying circumstances” in the past.

Eoin Morgan’s England Side have Revolutionised their Performances

England, Sri Lanka
Credit: Getty Images

Sangakkara was speaking just a week before the World Cup 2019. And like everyone seemed amazed by how Eoin Morgan-led England have emerged up after the 2015  World Cup.

Sangakkara was known as one of the greatest batsmen of his time. He has twice led his team to the World Cup final. He thinks the “revolutionised” side of England has climbed to the top of the one-day international rankings.

“Since 2015 England have changed their mindset about how they play their cricket and that has revolutionised their performances,” Sangakkara said.

“It’s a strange kind of shift. When you’re young in Sri Lanka the coaching methods are very English, what you wear, how you conduct yourself… everything about the game is very much old school.

“Then the shift starts later on in your teen years when the Asian genes kick in — the supple wrists and experimentation, flamboyance, panache — not restricting that natural ability with too much technique. In England now you see that shift towards vibrancy and individuality. It’s been great to see,” he added.

Meanwhile, he also praised the now-in-form West Indies‘ players. And with everyone talking about the challenge possessed by India and Australia, Sangakkara spoke about the threat Pakistan and Windies player could be.

“The West Indies are an incredible T20 side. And it’s great to see they’re more open to their best players representing them,” he said.

“A strong West Indies side means strong world cricket.”

“Pakistan are always inconsistent. But if they get to the playoffs, they can beat any side in the world,” he concluded.

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