Sri Lanka Cricket is awaiting security clearance from country’s defence ministry in order to embark on a limited-overs tour to Pakistan, which might be their first after the 2009 incident when the Lankan team bus was shot at by the terrorists on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium. Since that fateful day in March, Pakistan has not seen any big team playing international cricket in the country.
Only Zimbabwe and Kenya have made international cricket tours to the country, apart from a World XI and a handful of cricketers playing in the PSL matches in Karachi and Lahore. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is hoping to bring cricket back in its backyard by showcasing tight security for the Sri Lankan tour and also looking to get their Asian counterparts to play the three-match Test series in Pakistan as well.
Pakistan promised head of state-level security
The tour faced an obstacle last week when the Sri Lanka government warned the cricket board of a possible terrorist attack on the team in Pakistan and the case was referred to the defence ministry for investigation. Now, Mohan de Silva, Sri Lanka Cricket secretary has said that they are satisfied with the security arrangements that Pakistan is provided after visiting the country for a check.
“Earlier last month I visited Pakistan along with our security consultant and we were satisfied with the arrangements. They have promised security reserved for a head of state,” De Silva was quoted as saying by India Today. Majority of top-level Sri Lankan cricketers including T20 captain Lasith Malinga and ODI and Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne, along with Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews have declined to travel to Pakistan due to security concerns.
The tour, which is supposed to start on September 27, was put on hold as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister’s office warned the board that it had unspecified information about a possible attack against its players. The cricket board has not called off the tour but instead has asked the government to reassess the security situation and take a final call on the fate of the tour.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has announced two squads for the 3 T20Is, which will be played in Lahore and 3 ODIs, which are scheduled to be played in Karachi.
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