SLC remains optimistic about saving Pakistan tour

Published September 19, 2019
Sri Lanka’s cricket authorities remain hopeful of going ahead with their tour of Pakistan but will await the final all-clear from the defence ministry, a board official said on Wednesday.  — AP/File
Sri Lanka’s cricket authorities remain hopeful of going ahead with their tour of Pakistan but will await the final all-clear from the defence ministry, a board official said on Wednesday. — AP/File

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s cricket authorities remain hopeful of going ahead with their tour of Pakistan but will await the final all-clear from the defence ministry, a board official said on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary Mohan de Silva said he was satisfied with the security arrangements of their hosts, but reports last week of a possible terror attack had been referred to the defence ministry for investigation.

The Sri Lanka team was the target of an attack during a Test match in Pakistan’s Lahore in March 2009. Six Sri Lankan players were injured when gunmen attacked their bus. Six Pakistan policemen and two civilians were killed.

Since the attack, a majority of international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country.

Sri Lanka played one Twenty20 International against Pakistan at Lahore in October 2017.

De Silva said: “Earlier last month I visited Pakistan along with our security consultant and we were satisfied with the arrangements. They have promised security reserved for a head of state.”

The six-match tour, due to start on Sept 27, was put on hold last week after Sri Lanka’s prime minister’s office warned the board that it had unspecified information about a possible attack against its players.

SLC did not call off the tour, but instead asked the government to reassess the security situation and make a final determination about the fate of the tournament.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have said they were not aware of any information relating to the safety of the Sri Lankan team, but have reiterated their commitment to provide security.

Ten senior players — including current Test and ODI skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, T20 captain Lasith Malinga plus former skippers Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal — have opted out of the tour citing security concerns.

Sri Lanka have already announced two squads — to be led by Lahiru Thirimanne and Dasun Shanaka, respectively — for the three One-day Internationals, and the three Twenty20 Inte­rnationals.

The one-dayers will be played at the National Stadium in Karachi, while Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium would host the Twenty20s.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

Election time
Updated 27 Jan, 2023

Election time

There are concerns whether the ECP will be sufficiently able to protect the integrity of elections if they are held under partisan governments.
SCO invite
27 Jan, 2023

SCO invite

THOUGH India’s invitation to Pakistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation events in Goa later this ...
Call to arms
27 Jan, 2023

Call to arms

ONE way the state abdicates responsibility in Pakistan is by farming out its functions to the private sector. In ...
Nuclear miscalculations
26 Jan, 2023

Nuclear miscalculations

IF the claim of former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, that Pakistan and India came close to a nuclear exchange...
Exchange rate cap
26 Jan, 2023

Exchange rate cap

THE ‘management’ of the exchange rate by the State Bank, allegedly at the behest of the government, to ward off...
Fawad’s arrest
Updated 26 Jan, 2023

Fawad’s arrest

Does the state really need to fan public discontent in a period as fraught with uncertainty as this?