Sri Lanka keen to visit Pakistan for T20I series in Sept

  • Posted at: 16 Aug, 2017, in Sports

ISLAMABAD: Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president and Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) development committee’s chairman, Thilanga Sumathipala has stated that Sri Lanka will be ready to tour Pakistan for at least one T20I in Lahore “if all logistical and operational plans fall in place”.It will be Sri Lanka’s first visit since their bus was attacked by gunmen in Lahore in 2009.Since the attack, Zimbabwe have been the only full international side to tour Pakistan, playing five limited-overs games in Lahore in 2015.As well as Sri Lanka, Pakistan are also hoping to host an ICC World XI in September, which has led the PCB to recall its players currently playing overseas, in English county cricket and the Caribbean Premier League.The announcement from Sri Lanka came after the conclusion of ACC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Colombo.The dates of the proposed Pakistan versus Sri Lanka series have not been announced as of now, but it is likely to be played in September.“Cricket is a game of change, chance and chase. The game today, and its following is very different to what it was 10 years ago and as administrators we are faced with a different set of challenges to overcome. World cricket is in the hands of the unity of Asia. We need to respectfully understand each other’s problems and stand by each other. This is the spirit of the Asian Cricket Council,” Sumathipala said in a statement.“I am keen to take my team to Pakistan. We have had our security experts visit and make an assessment, and things look positive with things improving all over the country and especially Lahore being cleared. We have three T20I games coming up against Pakistan in September and we would like to play at least one of those games in Lahore,” he added.On his part, Sumathipala has made an appeal to all ACC members to assist Pakistan in their efforts. He highlighted the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, which took place in London despite the city suffering two terrorist attacks while the tournament was being played.“I call upon each one of you as members to play your role and give Pakistan the security of your support. There is always risk — there were two attacks in London during the Champions Trophy, but cricket continued under the security assurances of the ICC. So likewise, we too must be as accommodating and understanding as possible with our members and extend our fullest support to them as the cricketing family of Asia,” he said.“Sri Lanka suffered through three decades of terrorism and war and at one stage no one wanted to come here — Pakistan stood by us then, as did India. The opportunities available throughout the Asian region for the development of this game that is so close to our hearts is enormous. The efforts and the investment of our member countries are phenomenal and we need to support this development,” Sumathipala added.  – local channel


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