Sri Lanka discussing Pakistan tour with ICC: SLC official

Hambantota: Two years after their bilateral cricket tour came to an abrupt end after a deadly terror attack in Lahore, Sri Lanka are again exploring the possibility of travelling to Pakistan.

In what could end Pakistan’s cricket isolation, Sri Lanka Cricket chairman Somachandra de Silva on Wednesday said they are discussing the pros and cons of touring the troubled country with the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“We are still discussing the option with the ICC and with all the other board members,” said Sri Lanka Cricket chairman Somachandra de Silva.

According to the Future Tests Programme, Pakistan is supposed to host Sri Lanka in October later this year and De Silva said their tour will depend on the clearance given by the game’s governing body.

“There are still some security concerns in Pakistan but if things improve, and Pakistan is a brotherly nation, we can consider it - all depends on the ICC’s clearance,” De Silva said.

A terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March, 2009 left eight people dead and seven players injured along with their assistant coach. It led to International teams snapping ties with Pakistan, citing security fears.

The incident also culminated in ICC stripping Pakistan of its share of World Cup matches, forcing the team to play all their Group A matches in Sri Lanka.

With no team ready to tour the volatile country, Pakistan had to play their home series in the United Arab Emirates, England and New Zealand for the last two years.

Pakistan, which is batting militancy and Taliban resurgence in the North-West Frontier Province, was never a favourable hosts as international team feared the security arrangements of the country. The 9/11 World Trade centre attacks on the United States in 2001 made things even worse.

Australia stayed away from touring Pakistan since 1998, which meant Pakistan had to play their home series in Sri Lanka and Sharjah in 2002 and in England last year.

The ICC was forced to organise the 2008 Champions Trophy tournament in South Africa in 2009 after Australia, South Africa and England refused to travel to Pakistan.


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