Sri Lanka not willing to play in Pakistan

Sri Lanka Cricket officials not ready to tour Pakistan due to security concerns but they invited Pakistan to play series in Sri Lanka, it is reliably learnt.

According to a private TV channel, Sri Lanka’s cricket officials on Monday reacted cautiously to an invitation to tour Pakistan. Sri Lanka will not tour Pakistan unless they get security clearance, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said.

Earlier, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had asked Sri Lanka Cricket for their views on playing the scheduled series between the two sides in Pakistan, but Sri Lanka’s stand, and a major terrorist attack on Sunday night at a Karachi military base very close to the National Stadium, have severely undermined any hopes of a tour in near future.

Sri Lanka have received several requests from the PCB over the past three or four month regarding a series in Pakistan but SLC is not agree to send Lankan team to Pakistan prior to security clearance, said Ranatunga.

“We have sent them a fresh invitation to play the three Tests, five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 match in Pakistan in October-November,” PCB media advisor Nadim Sarwar said while talking to this scribe on Monday. “We are waiting for their response as we have given them full security assurances,” Nadim Sarwar added.

Meanwhile, SLC interim committee chairman Somachandra de Silva said Sri Lanka responded to the Pakistani invitation saying that they are not going to play the series in Pakistan due to fresh terrorists attack in Karachi. “We have replied to the PCB and await their confirmation as we are not going to play in Pakistan at this stage and have offered to host the series in our country,” de Silva added.

If they agree to play in Sri Lanka they will have to bear the entire hosting costs. We have also expressed our willingness to play at a neutral venue in Dubai or Abu Dhabi,” he added.

“Pakistan cricket is going through a difficult period, and we are keen to help them out as they are one of our best friends. But we have to consider the safety of our players,” Ranatunga said. “First we have to get the security clearance. Then only will we discuss it with the cricketers.

“We are awaiting clearance from the authorities before we can accept an invitation,” Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said. “We have in turn offered to host a tournament in Sri Lanka,” he added.

The Nation

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