In September Sri Lanka confirms considering touring Pakistan for T20s

KARACHI: Pakistan’s efforts to restore international cricket at home received a positive boost on Sunday when Sri Lanka cricket board confirmed it is considering sending its team to play at least one T20 game in Pakistan in September this year.

Thilanga Samathipala, president of Sri Lanka Cricket, said on the sidelines of the ACC meeting in Colombo that they are “keen” to send the team to Pakistan, at least for one T20I.

“I am keen to take my team to Pakistan. We 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.

Pakistan is scheduled to host Sri Lanka for a full series in September this year. PCB had earlier invited Sri Lanka to play at least one game of the series in Lahore, with remaining matches to be played in United Arab Emirates.

Samathipala also urged other cricket boards to help Pakistan in bringing international cricket back at home and end the draught.

“I make a call each one of you as members to play your role and give Pakistan the security of your support. There is risk – there were two attacks in London during the Champions Trophy, but cricket continued under the security assurances of the ICC,” he said.

So 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 added.

Samathipala went on to say that 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.

Pakistan, in an attempt to bring cricket home, is also scheduled to host an ICC World XI team next month for a three-match T20I series. The doors of international cricket started opening earlier this year when Pakistan successfully hosted the final of PSL’s second edition in Lahore.