Sri Lanka batsman Dhananjaya de Silva has withdrawn from the tour of West Indies after his father was killed by an as-yet unidentified gunmen on Thursday night.
Sri Lankan Police confirmed that Ranjan de Silva, Dhananjaya's father, was shot dead in Rathmalana - just south of Colombo - at around 8:30 pm. Ranjan was a councillor in the Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia City Council, having been elected in February.
Dhananjaya was due to depart to the West Indies on Friday, with the rest of the Sri Lanka squad. Many of his team-mates had visited Kalubowila Hospital on Thursday night, where his father had been taken. For now, the team's departure has not been affected, though it is possible plans may change.
Dhananjaya's personal management team sent out his official statement on Friday morning.
"I am shocked and sad to inform all of you of a bereavement in my family the untimely and unfortunate death of my loving Dad Ranjan last night," the statement said. "All this almost on the eve of a very important Test series and tour of the West Indies.
"On behalf of my Mother and immediate family please uphold us in your prayers and meditation. Tough as it is we will face the shocking change of events in our family going forward thro [sic] the next couple of days and will respect your understanding in terms of our privacy during this moment of grief.
"Thank you for all your concerns, Sympathies and many messages received in all forms. I wish Team SL the very best during the Tour of the Windies - Boys, even though I may not be around to battle the Windies while you do so my heart will always be with Team Sri Lanka."
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president Thilanga Sumathipala offered Dhananjaya a message of support. "Sri Lanka Cricket will take every measure to support Dananjaya (sic) at this time of sorrow and grief for him and his family, whilst giving him time to overcome the great pain and suffering caused by this tragedy," he said in an SLC release.
Dhananjaya had only recently fought his way back into the Test side, having scored hundreds in Delhi and later Chittagong. He has played 13 Tests and 17 ODIs to date, and in January had become the fastest-equal Sri Lanka batsman to 1000 Test runs.
May 25, GMT 0600 The article was amended to include Dhananjaya's statement and SLC's reaction.