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Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan hangs in balance

Press Trust of India  |  Karachi 

The Cricket Board (PCB) has already sent an official invitation to the Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) for a short series but the probability of the tour taking place is 50-50 chance.

"The chances that Sri Lankan board will accept our invitation is 50-50 to be honest. Because we know some of their leading players have reservations over playing in at this time.

"But the way we look at it even if they are willing to come for one match we will host them as it will be a breakthrough for us," a senior official of the board told PTI.

No Test-playing nation has toured since March, 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in which six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed while some of the visiting players also wounded.

The PCB decided to send the invitation to the Sri Lankans last week after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse promised his Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain he will send his cricket team to Pakistan during a meeting on the sidelines of a summit in China.

The PCB official said that they had been talks with the Sri Lankan board for a while now on the possibility of matches being held in Pakistan.

"We have assured them fool proof security for the tour when it takes place and the reason we have kept the matches in Lahore is that the visiting team will be put up at the National cricket academy adjacent to the Gaddafi stadium and not at any hotel for security reasons," the official said.

"We feel that top security can be provided to the Sri Lankan team at the NCA where all facilities are present in one place and there is virtually no distance to be covered to go to the stadium," he said.

The official said although no time-frame had been suggested by the PCB for the series but if the Sri Lankans accepted it the arrangements could be made at a very short notice.

"It could happen anytime and the series could be of two ODIs and a T20 match or less but we just want to revive some international cricket activity in Pakistan to break the ice," he said.

First Published: Sun, May 25 2014. 14:25 IST