By S.R. Pathiravithana
The Lankans who faced that deadly terrorist attack in Lahore Pakistan in two year ago and thus plunged that perennial cricketing nation into isolation, may become the country who will bill them out of this present impasse.
“Sri Lanka Cricket will be pleased to honour our FTP tour in Pakistan which is scheduled for October-November 2011, where they are scheduled to play three tests and five one-day internationals” said SLC Interim Committee Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga to the Sunday Times.
Ranatunga then added “There are concerns. Most of the players in the present side were in that unfortunate incident and we will have to make sure that the players and the other allied officials are safe if the tour comes through”
The Lankan cricket official said that they were in talks with the International Cricket Council’s Pakistan Task Team (PTT) to explore the possibilities. “If the tour is to become a reality first the ICC should be fully satisfied that the conditions afoot in Pakistan are conducive to stage international cricket.
Attack on the Sri Lankan team bus by terrorists on March 9, 2009, killed eight people and injured seven Sri Lankan players as well as their the then assistant coach, leading to the suspension of all international cricket in Pakistan – a decision taken by the ICC.
“Pakistan has been one of our closest friends and have stood by us on many a issue and we are keen to see that the tour will work out, but there are still some security concerns in Pakistan but if things improve and we get the ICC approval and also get the players behind us things may work out” Ranatunga said.
SLC employees questioned
Meanwhile the acting CEO, Sri Lanka Cricket Ajit Jayasekera explaining to the Sunday Times incidents with regard to the ticket selling fraud said “The person arrested by the Police are casual workers who were employed by the SLC’s ICC secretariat only for the purpose of selling the World Cup tickets. SLC has no play in it.
“The Police are already into the investigation and have questioned several persons including some employees of the SLC ICC secretariat”. Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis injured in Pakistan after the terrorist attack on their team bus.