Sri Lanka agree to play only three limited-over games in Pakistan

Updated August 23, 2019

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“We are not in a position to send the team to Pakistan to play the two Tests," says Harin Fernando. — AFP/File
“We are not in a position to send the team to Pakistan to play the two Tests," says Harin Fernando. — AFP/File

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka will return to Pakistan after a nearly two-year absence for three short-form cricket games later this year, the sports minister said on Thursday.

“We are not in a position to send the team to Pakistan to play the two Tests, but we will be in Pakistan for about eight days to play the ODIs or the T20 matches,” Harin Fernando told reporters in Colombo.

No dates were announced, but the minister said the games would be scheduled for later this year.

Citing safety fears, Fernando said two Tests could instead be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where Pakistan have held many of their home series since 2009.

International teams have stayed away from Pakistan over security concerns.

In October 2017, Sri Lanka played a Twenty20 International in Lahore for the first time since a terror attack near the same venue in March 2009.

That attack left eight people dead and seven Sri Lanka players and staff injured.

CRACKDOWN ON BETTING

Sri Lankans involved in gambling firms will be barred from the nation’s cricket governing body as officials bid to eradicate match-fixing scandals that have dogged the sport, the government said.

Sri Lankan cricket has been mired in corruption scandals in recent years, including claims of match fixing ahead of an international Test against England last year.

Fernando said he was introducing regulations to bring the country in line with International Cricket Council (ICC) provisions that ban individuals with connections to gambling firms from being involved in the sport’s administration.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2019