Sport

Cricket: SLC awaits government clearance to go ahead with Pakistan tour

15 September 2019 - 75   - 0

A new security alert by the Government has put Sri Lanka’s tour of Pakistan in jeopardy but cricket officials are confident they can honour a commitment to a longstanding sporting friend. 

The ball is now in the court of the Sri Lanka Government. 

It must reassess the security situation in Pakistan and check the credibility of their intelligence sources who advised them of a "possible terrorist threat on the Sri Lankan team, while touring Pakistan". 

The Sri Lanka team is due to depart on September 24 for a two-week long tour to Pakistan. 

It would be their first full tour there since armed gunned men attacked their team bus on its way to the ground in Lahore, injuring at least six cricketers. 

The Board made a comprehensive security assessment in Pakistan recently after which they agreed the team would travel for the limited-over leg instead of the Test match series Pakistan wanted to host. 

Still, ten Sri Lankan senior cricketers pulled out citing safety concerns despite Pakistan promising the kind of "foolproof" security accorded to any Head of State. 

This forced national selectors to name two inexperienced squads for the ODIs and T20Is with Lahiru Thirimanne and Dasun Shanaka as skippers. 

“We had a thorough assessment of the security before agreeing on the tour," said Shammi Silva, SLC President. 

"We were satisfied the arrangements in place. We have no information on the current threats and this is why we asked government’s help to reassess the situation. We have not taken any decision to cancel it, reschedule or shift it to an alternative venue as of now. We will take a call once we get clearance from the government." 

Pakistan has been starved off international cricket ever since the deadly attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009. 

They have made several attempts to lure international teams to travel to Pakistan to play cricket but with little success.
 

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