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Sri Lanka captain urges team to show fortitude

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has urged his team to show "mental strength and fortitude" at the Twenty20 World Cup after the trauma of Lahore this year when the team bus was attacked by armed militants.

"Since Lahore we have accepted there is never a 100 percent guarantee -- that's the way life is," Sangakkara said.

"We've got to have the mental strength and fortitude to get on with our business of playing cricket.

"With all teams in the current world climate, not just us, security is going to be an issue, in some countries more so than others maybe. But still worldwide there is a threat so our mental comfort depends on certain things being put in place for us and so far we have been very satisfied."

Six members of the Sri Lanka team, including Sangakkara, were wounded after gunmen shot at their team bus en route to the Gaddafi Stadium for the second Test against Pakistan in March.

The Sri Lanka team are liaising daily with a national police intelligence cell set up to oversee security for the World Cup in England, which starts on Friday.

World Twenty20 tournament director and former South Africa player Steve Elworthy, 44, held the same role at the 2007 World Twenty20 in South Africa. He said security had become much tighter since Lahore.

"The situation has changed and it's now a completely different landscape to then," Elworthy said. "Without a shadow of a doubt it opened our eyes even more to the hazards facing cricketers and officials.

"Our security plan for the event was already at an advanced stage and in place, but something like that made us go back and recheck everything again and do a strategy review."

Tournament organisers, as well as the International Cricket Council (ICC), believe they have done as much as they can to keep the players safe.

All teams get police convoys to and from matches and when travelling between venues, while there are also dedicated security staff for each side. Elworthy said he could not reveal the exact details of team security.

The man heading the event's security is the former chief constable of Devon and Cornwall in south-west England, John Evans, who also advised the Football Association (FA) on security matters. The England team's security head Reg Dickason is also involved, as are the ICC's own independent security consultants.

Despite the added attention, Sangakkara said the increased security measures had not distracted his side from cricket.

"It feels like just another tournament; they have done a good job at keeping everything low key," Sangakkara said. "We have the opportunity to just concentrate on cricket and that's very nice."

source - indiatimes.com
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