The aftermath of the earthquake December 28, 2004

Malinga and Fernando affected by tsunami

Cricinfo staff



Muttiah Muralitharan was in Galle only 20 minutes before the giant waves struck but managed a narrow escape © Getty Images

It is reported that Lasith Malinga and Dilhara Fernando were directly affected by the tsunami that crashed into Sri Lanka two days ago. Details are unclear, but it had steadily become evident that a number of members of the Sri Lankan side have been affected in some way by the tragedy. Muttiah Muralitharan, who did not tour with the team to New Zealand, was in Galle only 20 minutes before the giant waves struck, but is safe.

Sanath Jayasuriya's mother and Marvan Atapattu's father were in ravaged areas, and while Atapattu's father was found safe, Jayasuriya's mother was injured, though out of danger. However, the tour will still go on. Earlier, Brendon Kuruppu, Sri Lanka's team manager, was quoted saying that his team would consider pulling out of the tour due to the catastrophe. But at an emergency meeting of Sri Lanka Cricket, a unanimous decision was taken to continue with the tour as there was no provision in the ICC's Future Tours Program Agreement to abandon a tour unless there were safety and security concerns or where a country's government provided clear direction not to tour. Failure to adhere to this condition could result in a country being penalised a minimum of US$2million and possible suspension from international cricket.

"There is no way we could have cancelled the tour," said Mohan de Silva, the president of the board. "We express our profound sorrow and deepest sympathies to all those families and individuals affected by the tsunami."

Another casualty has been the Galle Stadium, which was in an area hit badly by the waves. "The damage to the stadium and the indoor is extensive," said de Silva. "We have not got a proper estimate of the damage and the losses."

Comments