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sri lanka attack 2009, lahore attack 2009, sri lanka pakistan cricket, arjuna ranatunga, ranatunga, pakistan cricket
“It is unfortunate and terrible for Pakistan cricket but I am sure even today given the relations both countries have, a tour by Sri Lanka could be possible.”

Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga has vowed to play “any role in any capacity” to help bring cricket back to Pakistan, four years after a deadly terrorist attack on his compatriots put a stop to international fixtures in the country.

“One can understand what the players went through and what they think about playing in Pakistan but I am ready to play any role in any capacity to help in the revival of international cricket in this wonderful place,” Ranatunga said in an interview.

The March 3, 2009, attack on the Sri Lanka team bus left eight people dead and several players wounded and put a stop to international cricket in Pakistan.

Ranatunga, however, felt Pakistan needed to prepare a comprehensive security plan and take the International Cricket Council and other countries on board with it.

“They must work hard on preparing an airtight security plan and move forward. I will do anything in my power in Sri Lanka to get the players to tour Pakistan again,” he said while adding Pakistan cricket needs to move on now as four years have passed since the incident happened.

As president of the Asian Cricket Council in 2008, Ranatunga said he had played a big role in holding Asia Cup despite prevalent security concerns in Pakistan at that time.

“I think the sort of security Pakistan provided to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other teams in that tournament was the best. And if that sort of security is guaranteed for teams playing in Pakistan I am sure international cricket can be revived in Pakistan,” he said.

Ranatunga said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka had always had close relations and needed to continue to foster them.

“They have always helped and supported us. I remember in the 1996 World Cup when the Tamil issue was going on, West Indies and Australia refused to play in Sri Lanka but Pakistan and India sent a team to make a point it was safe to play in Sri Lanka,” he recalled.

“It is unfortunate and terrible for Pakistan cricket but I am sure even today given the relations both countries have, a tour by Sri Lanka could be possible,” he said.

Comments (9) Closed

Shahid Mar 04, 2013 11:51pm
One should be realist and should avoid taking chances on this matter. I think they are foolish who want the international cricket to come back at this moment. There is every chance of an act of terrorism to happen and this time, even if the visiting team players are not attacked but it just happens close to the playing site, then we could say good bye to cricket for a very very long time. Sense must prevail and we should wait until some kind of peace is restored through the proposed dialouge with Talban. Those who score points and think that they can be heroes by bring an foreign team to this soil are nothing but fools and are playing with the future of Pakistan cricket.
Mushtaq Mar 04, 2013 08:14pm
This is the time for Pakistan Cricket Board to come forward and spend $$$$ for security they promised to pay players. Sri Lanka understand our situation as they went through the same era. They provided top class security to each team and look where they are now. There are no issues anymore. With the time, Pakistan issues will also calm down and Cricket Lovers will see more games. In current situation things will get worst. Creating an PPL will not solve the problems.
skeptic Mar 04, 2013 08:03pm
Both Arjuna and Jaysuriya are good friends of Pakistan,in fact i have found Sri Lankan's to be generally every friendly and easy going at large. One of the great memories that i cherish is to be the part of the crowd at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore for the world cup finals between Sri Lanka and Australia,whether it was the unpopularity of the Australian team or the popularity of Sri Lankan, the place buzzed and craved for a Sri Lankan victory .It almost felt the world cup was being played in Colombo instead of Lahore.The crowd went into raptures of unending mexican waves whenever Desilva and Ranatunga scored a boundary.Great stuff. Hoping and wishing peace will come back to our country and only then cricket will follow,can't be the other way round.
Wickramsinge Mar 04, 2013 08:03pm
innocent people are killed almost every day in your country, do something about it first, then think of cricket
Tariq Mehsud Mar 04, 2013 05:45pm
Mr. Rannatunga is a gentleman and cricket will come back to PAKISTAN.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Mar 04, 2013 05:23pm
Hats off to Ranagunga for offering his support to the 'green-shirts' in this time of crisis when under the covert, implicit and latent command and control of the 'big brother,' all international teams and many players too, are hesitant to come and play in the 'land of the pure.' No doubt, Ranatunga is a great cricketer and an excellent human being beside being a good friend of Pakistani cricket and cricketers. However, Ranatunga must also know, realize and understand that as long as the 'big brother' does not want, no cricket team of foreign origin or any international test, ODI or T20 cricketer could dare to visit Pakistan and play. Why is it so? I leave the answer to the mature, educated, civilized, enlightened, excelling and enduring readers and contributors of this great DAWN forum.
Krishna Mar 05, 2013 05:00am
Had the attack happened on Ranatunga himself or any of his family members or relatives, would he tell the same thing...You dont understand the severity of the an attack unless and until you are a victim..
waseem ahmed qureshi Mar 05, 2013 06:04am
this time the attackers wont miss inshallah ta'la
Amin Hussain Mar 05, 2013 08:27am