Sri Lanka’s cricket officials have reacted cautiously to an invitation to tour Pakistan, just two years after players were targeted in a deadly militant ambush in Lahore.
The Pakistan Cricket Board announced over the weekend that they had invited Sri Lanka to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 game in a series proposed for October.
Sri Lanka officials said they would need security clearance before accepting the invitation, as well as discussions with the government and the International Cricket Council (ICC). They offered to host a tournament in Sri Lanka instead.
“We are awaiting clearance from the authorities before we can accept an invitation,” Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga told AFP.
“We have in turn offered to host a tournament in Sri Lanka,” he added.
Seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach were wounded when gunmen opened fire on the Sri Lankan team bus at Lahore in 2009. Eight Pakistanis were also killed in the attack.
Even before the Lahore attacks, Pakistan was a no-go area for many teams because of security fears sparked in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, which sparked a “war on terror” on its borders.
The ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat earlier this month said no team was willing to tour Pakistan at the moment because of its security situation.
Pakistan have been forced to play their “home” series in the United Arab Emirates, England and New Zealand. Cricket365