Sri Lankan team to reach Karachi on Sept 25 for Pakistan series

06:30 PM | 19 Sep, 2019
Sri Lankan team to reach Karachi on Sept 25 for Pakistan series
COLOMBO/KARACHI – Sri Lankan team will reach Karachi on September 25 after the country's Defence ministry gave a green signal to the PCB for ODI and T20I series in Pakistan.

The Sri Lankan cricket board (SLC) confirmed Thursday that Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan will go ahead after the Pakistan government had "reaffirmed" its desire to provide the Sri Lanka team with the same level of security afforded to visiting heads of state.

"The Pakistan High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Pakistan Government, has reaffirmed to the Sri Lankan government Pakistan's desire to provide the Sri Lankan National Team with the same level of security as that provided to a head of state," SLC Secretary Mohan De Silva stated.

Silva added that they received the all-clear from the defence ministry to leave for Pakistan on Tuesday “We have the green light from the defence ministry,” de Silva told AFP. “The tour is on as we planned. I myself and our office bearers will also be accompanying the team.”

The tour had been thrown into serious doubt last week after a warning of a terror attack on the Sri Lankan team was received by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister's Office. Following this, SLC deferred any fresh security assessment to the Sri Lankan government.

The Sri Lanka team was the target of an attack during a Test match in Pakistan’s Lahore in March 2009, with six players 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’s first match in Lahore after that was one T20 game against Pakistan in October 2017.

De Silva visited Pakistan last month along with a security consultant to check out the arrangements made by the hosts.

“They have promised security reserved for a head of state,” de Silva said.

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

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it was not aware of any information relating to the safety of the Sri Lankan team, but reiterated its commitment to providing security.

Ten senior players opted out of the tour citing security concerns.

Sri Lanka has already announced two squads for the three one-day internationals and the three T20 matches.

Match schedule:

1st ODI: Karachi, September 27

2nd ODI: Karachi, September 29

3rd ODI: Karachi, October 2

1st T20: Lahore, October 5

2nd T20: Lahore, October 7

3rd T20: Lahore, October 9