Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Monday, stated that the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka will go ahead as scheduled despite a number of Sri Lankan players pulling out of the tour. Dealing yet another blow to Pakistan’s hopes of resuming international cricket, the big names from Sri Lanka have decided against visiting the country due to security reasons.
Most of the international teams have refused to tour Pakistan since a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009. Since then only Zimbabwe, West Indies and Sri Lanka have visited Pakistan in addition to a World XI side. Things are not looking bright even now and the latest development will be a huge setback for Pakistan cricket.
As many as ten Sri Lankan players have decided not to visit Pakistan. T20I skipper Lasith Malinga, along with former captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella were the ten who opted to stay away from the upcoming assignment.
PCB confident of the series going ahead
Despite the big names from Sri Lanka pulling out of the tour, PCB is confident of the series going ahead. The board is also hopeful that the successful staging of the matches will open new opportunities.
“We understand the situation the Sri Lankan board is facing, and we know they can’t force any of their players to come for the tour which still remains very important for us,” said a PCB official.
“If this tour is successful, then just think on what grounds would the Sri Lankan board or even the Bangladesh cricket board not agree to play the ICC World Test Championship matches in Pakistan. Regardless of which player (s) are coming the fact is it is the Sri Lankan national team which will tour Pakistan from this month and that is what matters to the board,” he added.
Pakistan are hosting the islanders for three T20Is and as many ODIs. The Sri Lankan team will reach Karachi on September 25 and play three ODIs before going to Lahore for three T20 matches and return home on October 9.
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