Karachi: Even as the Pakistan Cricket Board is trying to convince Sri Lanka Cricket officials to send their team to Pakistan later this year for a bi-lateral series, senior Sri Lankan batsman Thilan Samaraweera who was hit by a bullet in his leg, said that the terror attack on the team in 2009 still haunts him. (Agencies)
"It was the worst day of my life. Those three minutes in the bus will stay with me forever. But it's all in the past now and thankfully I am here to tell the tale," Samaraweera said.
When the militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus while they were going to the Gaddafi stadium on the third day of the second Test match on March 3, Samaraweera was the only player who suffered a bullet wound while some of his teammates suffered wounds from flying glass.
He had a bullet pierce the inside of his thigh, centimeters from the knee but he was back playing for Sri Lanka four months after the attack.
"It was a challenge to play after the attack and the injury, but I wanted desperately to start playing again. I was back playing again for Sri Lanka after four months. When I was lying in the hospital bed recovering from the injury I never thought I would be able to make such a swift recovery."
In the aftermath of the Lahore attack, the Sri Lankan players won much praise from the cricketing world for the dignified way they conducted themselves. Rather than pointing
fingers, the Sri Lankan players and officials maintained a professional and respectful viewpoint.
"We have had 30 years of internal problems in Sri Lanka, we are used to that. In schools and other educational establishments we are taught how to react in such situations and that helped us all that day in Lahore," he said.
Samaraweera feels that it was a "lucky" bullet as it did not hit either the bone or a nerve, which could turn out to be far more serious and potentially career threatening.
"I have kept the bullet, it's at home. I feel that it's a lucky bullet as if it had hit the bone I would never have played cricket again and if it had hit a nerve then the doctors said that I would have been paralysed.
"So for me, the fact that it neither hit the bone nor a nerve means that the bullet was lucky," he said.
The 34-year old batsman also made it clear he had no intentions of retiring at least for the next two years.
"This year we have eleven Test matches, which is a lot of cricket coming up. Next year we also have eleven Test matches scheduled. So I am focussing more on Test cricket. I feel I
can go on for at least the next two years and after that I hope for the best."
Samaraweera made his Test debut against India in 2001 and scored 102 not out on debut. A veteran of 63 Tests, his average of 54.25 is boosted by two double hundreds against Pakistan and 12 centuries in total.
He is now looking forward to the challenge of beating England on their own soil.
Karachi: Even as the Pakistan Cricket Board is trying to convince Sri Lanka Cricket officials to send their team to Pakistan later this year for a bi-lateral series, senior Sri Lankan batsman Thilan Samaraweera who was hit by a bullet in his leg, said that the terror attack on the team in 2009 still haunts him.