I don't want to go to Pakistan: Dilshan

Captain of Sri Lanka Tillakaratne Dilshan addresses the media AFP

Cardiff: May 26, 2011

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan said Wednesday he would not play cricket in Pakistan again after an invitation for his side to return to the troubled nation, two years after they were attacked there, was rejected.

Dilshan was on the Sri Lanka team bus shot at by militants in Lahore in March 2009 during an attack which killed eight people and injured seven members of the tour party.

Asked if he would ever go back to Pakistan with Sri Lanka, Dilshan — leading the team in the first Test against England that starts here on Thursday — told reporters: “I don’t think so. It was a bad experience for me as a cricketer in Pakistan.

“As a player, I don’t want to go through the same experience in the future. My personal view, I don’t want to go back to play cricket there.”

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced at the weekend they had invited Sri Lanka to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 game in a series proposed for October.

However, the invitation was turned down by Sri Lanka Cricket chairman D.S. de Silva, who said Tuesday: “The circumstances, with regards to security, don’t allow us to play matches there. Even the ICC (International Cricket Council) has not given us security clearance.”

Since the attack, no major nation has toured Pakistan, forcing the country to play ‘home’ series in the United Arab Emirates, England and New Zealand.

On Monday, Afghanistan became the first foreign squad to arrive in Pakistan following the attack on the Sri Lankan players. The Afghans will take on a second-string Pakistani national team in a three-match series.