Sri Lanka Cricket Rejects PCB’s Offer To Play T20 Internationals in Pakistan
In a latest development, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) management has refused to tour Pakistan for the two Twenty20 Internationals in October after being invited by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in the wake-up of fresh suicide bomb attack in Lahore which has left 26 dead and several injured on July 24. (Read Here: Mickey Arthur Feels World XI’s Visit Could Revive International Cricket In Pakistan).
Earlier, PCB put forward a proper invitation to the Sri Lanka cricket board during the world cricket governing body ICC’s meetings, in a bid to host the Lions at Lahore, before playing at their adopted home United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“I had spoken to my Sri Lankan cricket counterpart during the ICC meetings and I had invited him to send his team to Lahore to play the T20 matches,” PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan was quoted as saying by PTI.
However, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan in his briefing to the media revealed the Lankans have decided not to play in Pakistan owing to the security concerns after gruesome attack has again became a reason to not host the series after 2015 when Zimbabwe visited Pakistan for a limited overs series.
“And start the series against Pakistan with rest of matches to be played in the UAE,” Shaharyar added.
Moreover, Shaharyar expressed a concern while revealing the attacks are unfortunately taking place all around, but the sports wasn’t affected, adding he was astonished owing to the decision of Lankan authorities.
“I am a bit surprised at Sri Lankan’s refusal because terror attacks are happening everywhere in the world and sports events are still going on,” Shaharyar further added.
Being at the forefront to resume international cricket in Pakistan Shaharyar stated it was an injustice to sports while pointing out Pakistan while citing the apprehension of security.
“It is unfair to just single out Pakistan for security reasons,” Shaharyar maintained.
Interestingly, on the other side, Shaharyar in his startling revelation stated the Sri Lanka Cricket top brass has assured him to take up the matter with higher ups, in order to get go-ahead for the games from government in particular.
In March, Pakistan had successfully hosted the grand finale of Pakistan Super League (PSL) following full-proof security.
However, there is no verdict from Pakistan Task Force head for ICC, Giles Clarke following the fresh attack, as the World XI’s proposed Pakistan tour based on three-match T20Is is tentatively scheduled from September 12 in Lahore.
“I met Giles Clarke recently in London and we finalized the budget details and other aspects of the World XI tour,” Shaharyar asserted.
However, Shaharyar is optimistic the series will go ahead even after making the admission that he is not aware of the current happenings taking place within the global cricket Board.
“Since the attack took place we don’t know the situation. But we are confident that the tour will go ahead eventually,” Shaharyar concluded.
In October-November, Pakistan is expected to play five ODIs, two Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals against Sri Lanka in UAE.
In 2009 gruesome attack, it was Sri Lankan team which came under attack in Lahore after terrorists fired volley of bullets at the visitors’ team bus that was heading towards Gaddafi Stadium.
However, former Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara revealed despite the security issues the team was sent to Pakistan while hoping for a thorough probe.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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