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Sri Lanka set to go ahead with tour of Bangladesh

Sri Lanka © AFP
Sri Lanka is scheduled to play matches across all 3 formats in Bangladesh © AFP

Colombo: Jan 15, 2014

Sri Lanka is to go ahead with a tour to Bangladesh later this month after carrying out its own security assessment in the violence-plagued country, cricket board officials said Wednesday.

“We are very positive about playing in Bangladesh,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary Nishantha Ranatunga told.

“We look forward to playing there.”

Confirmation that the tour is going ahead comes after SLC vice president Mohan de Silva and the board’s former chief executive Ajith Jayasekera travelled to Bangladesh earlier this week.

Ranatunga said the pair were joined by Sri Lankan diplomats as they held discussions in Dhaka about player safety for the tour.

The first of two Test matches begins in the capital on January 27 and the two teams are also scheduled to play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Twenty20 International (T20I) matches.

Bangladesh has been rocked by some of the deadliest political violence in its history in recent weeks, with the opposition trying to derail a January 5 general election which was marred by boycotts.

The violence has also prompted speculation that the 50-over Asia Cup and the Twenty20 World Cup, which are both due to be hosted by Bangladesh in the coming weeks, could be shifted.

Ranatunga rejected reports that Sri Lanka had been sounded out by Asian cricket authorities about the possibility of hosting the Asia Cup which will also include India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“There is no such thing. No one has asked us to host the Asia Cup,” Ranatunga said. “The original decision of the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) stands.”

The Asia Cup is due to begin in Bangladesh on February 25 and the finals will be on March 8.

ICC World T20 2014, which features all of the major teams in international cricket, is to run from March 16 to April 6.

The three venues chosen for the T20 tournament — Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet —  have all experienced violence over the past month.

In 2009, during a trip to Pakistan, the Sri Lankan cricket team was ambushed by armed gunmen in an attack that wounded a number of players and killed at least six policemen.

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