Keen to take Sri Lanka to Pakistan: SLC President

14 Août, 2017, 04:35 | Author: Marie-Claire Cellier
  • Since 2009 only Zimbabwe have toured Pakistan for a limited-overs series in 2015

While security concerns are valid and shouldn't be taken lightly, the fact that the Pakistan Super League was held in the country, Zimbabwe have toured them and ICC are themselves pushing for worldwide cricket to return to the country shows that it is safe for the players to play. Since that attack, in which six policemen and two civilians were killed, only Zimbabwe have toured the country, playing five internationals in Lahore in 2015. An SLC release said "Sri Lanka will play at least one of the three T20s in Lahore, in September", so long as "the logistical and operational plans fall in place".

Thilanga Sumathipala, the Asian Cricket Council development committee chairman, has said Sri Lanka will have no hesitation to travel to Pakistan after the ACC concluded their Annual General Meeting in Colombo on Saturday (August 12).

While de Silva was unwilling to commit on names and the kind of money they were looking to generate from the game, he did say that the expenditure in putting the match together would be in the range of 35-40 million Sri Lankan rupees (in the region of INR 15 million).

The news will come as a huge boost to Pakistan after New Zealand Cricket confirmed that the centrally contracted players won't take part in the World XI T20I series. "The game today, and its following is very different to what it was 10 years ago and as administrators we are faced with a different set of challenges to overcome". We need to respectfully understand each other's problems and stand by each other.

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De Silva added that the match had the blessings of the International Cricket Council.

Sumathipala said: "I am keen to take my team to Pakistan". We have had our security experts visit and make an assessment, and things look positive with things improving all over the country and especially Lahore being cleared.

"We have three Twenty20 games against Pakistan in September and we would like to play at least one in Lahore". Najam Sethi and the Pakistan Cricket Board are working towards organising a Pakistan vs World XI series next month to assure other nations about the safety and security of players and officials. The status of that World XI tour - now scheduled to be played between September 10 and 16 - is still uncertain, and dependent on the political situation in Lahore in September. The board, however, was quick to clarify it won't interfere in the decisions of the non-contracted players.

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