After signs that the trip will continue as planned despite safety issues, Pakistan’s cricket officials joined the initial phase of preparations for the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s much-anticipated Pakistan trip later this month became dubious after the Sri Lankan govt raised safety apprehensions, but press releases on Wednesday indicated that the Islanders would return in Pakistan later this month for the six-match limited-over sequence in Lahore and Karachi.
While the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced ticket details and their prices for the three-match ODI series and similar T20 contests, the cricket board of Sri Lanka appeared to be hoping to continue with its Pakistan tour. Sri Lanka Cricket, however, said it would receive the defense ministry’s ultimate all-clear.
Secretary Mohan de Silva of Sri Lanka Cricket said he was happy with their hosts ‘ safety agreements, but last week reports of a probable terror attack had been referred for inquiry to the Ministry of Defense.
The Sri Lanka team was the target of an attack during a Test match in Pakistan’s Lahore in March 2009. Six Sri Lankan players were injured when gunmen attacked their bus. Six Pakistan policemen and two civilians were killed.
Since the attack, a majority of international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country.
Sri Lanka played one T20 match against Pakistan at Lahore in October 2017. De Silva said: “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.” The six-match tour, due to start on September 27, was put on hold last week after Sri Lanka’s prime minister’s office warned the board that it had unspecified information about a possible attack against its players.
Sri Lanka Cricket did not call off the tour, but instead asked the government to reassess the security situation and make a final determination about the fate of the tournament. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said it was not aware of any information relating to the safety of the Sri Lankan team, but has reiterated its commitment to provide security.
Ten senior players have opted out of the tour citing security concerns. Sri Lanka has already announced two squads for the three One-day Internationals in Karachi and the three T20 matches starting September 27. —with inputs from agencies