New Zealand – The Sri Lankan cricket team has withdrawn from its tour of New Zealand, ending days of anxiety for players separated from families in their tsunami-ravaged homeland.
As the death toll in Sri Lanka climbed past 22,000, the Sri Lankan Cricket Board announced the team would be returning home as soon as possible. The board asked New Zealand’s assistance in rescheduling the team’s remaining games. New Zealand Cricket, in a statement Thursday, accepted the postponement and pledged to assist to the Sri Lankan board and players.
‘We will now give the Sri Lankan cricket team every assistance to return home as soon as possible,’ chief executive Martin Snedden said.
‘As the magnitude of the recent events in Sri Lanka have unfolded it has become more difficult for the Sri Lankan team to remain in New Zealand and we can understand their decision as the players are expected to play a meaningful role back home with the rest of the people in Sri Lanka.’