Former Sri Lanka cricketers Rangana Herath and Chaminda Vaas expressed dismay and shock at the multiple bomb blasts that killed and injured many in the island nation on Easter Sunday. @AFP

Expressing dismay and shock at the multiple bomb blasts that killed and injured hundreds of people in Sri Lanka, the country’s former cricketers Chaminda Vaas and Rangana Herath on Tuesday said the need of the hour is to stay strong and united.

Sri Lankan authorities arrested 24 people in connection with the multiple blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels in the island nation on Easter Sunday, killing over 290 people and injuring around 500 others.

“So sad to see. We never thought these kind of things will happen in Sri Lanka. It is a lovely country and hospitable. People are very friendly. It is so tragic to see such things happen,” Vaas told reporters here.

“We need to rebuild. We can rebuild churches or hotels but we can’t bring lives back. I am sure the Sri Lankan government and the people will be very united this time and make sure that we stick together,” said the former left arm pacer who scalped 400 ODI and 355 Test wickets in his illustrious career. (ALSO READ: Scared to go out: Sri Lanka’s Dasun Shanaka recounts church bombing horror of Easter Sunday)

Vaas and his former teammate Herath were in Mumbai to inaugurate a local T20 cricket tournament organised by Jwala Singh.

Herath, one of the best left arm spinners of his time, said his country needs to stay strong during such times.

“We need to convey our deepest sympathies and condolences. As Chaminda said, we are a united country. We kind of have a panic situation but (we are sure that) we (will) become a strong country,” he added.

Vaas expressed confidence that the situation would be normal again in Sri Lanka.

“This attack can happen anywhere in the world. We saw in New Zealand recently as well. These people don’t have simply one place (and) they can attack anywhere in the world.

I am pretty sure that things will go back to normal,” Vaas remarked.