- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

SYDNEY (AP) - Sri Lanka’s coach thinks some cricketers could shorten their international careers rather than tour potential trouble spots in the wake of the terror attacks on his team in Pakistan last month.

Trevor Bayliss was on the Sri Lanka team bus when it was ambushed by a dozen or more heavily armed gunmen en route to the stadium on March 3 for the second test against Pakistan in Lahore.

Seven members of the Sri Lanka contingent, include players and an assistant coach, were injured in the attacks which left six police officers and a driver dead.

Fear of future attacks could force players into premature retirement, he said.

“I am sure that will be the case,” he said. “If we happen to have a tour to a certain country and there is a little bit of a threat I am sure that some of those players will have that in the back of their minds.”

The 46-year-old Bayliss is spending time in Sydney with his family. He is due back in Sri Lanka on May 10 to begin preparations for the Twenty20 World Cup in England starting June 5.

The former Australian first-class batsman said he expected there would be nerves the next time the Sri Lanka squad assembled for a bus ride to a match venue.

“Obviously it is hard to know how everyone will react the first time we jump back in the bus on the way to the ground somewhere,” he said. “But at this stage everyone seems to be handling it pretty well.”

The Sri Lankan squad was given counseling and individual players got back into training last month. Many have already resumed international cricket in the Indian Premier League in South Africa _ the domestic Twenty20 competition was switched to South Africa due to security concerns because the tournament clashed with India’s general elections.

Sri Lanka is due to tour India and Bangladesh starting in November. No international cricket has been played on the sub continent since the attacks in Lahore, with Bangladesh scrapping a tour by Pakistan and India moving the IPL off shore.

Bayliss said decisions on the tours to India and Bangladesh would be made at a later date.

“There is a lot of water under the bridge until then and I am sure the correct steps will be made to make sure that everything is fine and that if not, we might not go,” he said.

He said he’d prefer not to dwell too much on the attacks.

“I would not mind if we just left it alone and just got on with it,” he said. “I don’t think about it all that often, it is more when someone asks me about it.”

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide