PCB sends fresh invite to Lanka to tour Pak

The Srilankan team being airlifted from the Gaddafi Stadium after they were attacked by militants on March 3, 2009 Getty Images

Lahore: May 22, 2011

The Pakistan Cricket Board has not given up hope of reviving international cricket at home and have again officially invited Sri Lanka to tour Pakistan later this year for the future tours program series.

Sri Lanka are due to play three tests, five one-day internationals and a T20 match as part of the FTP series that Pakistan will host.

But the Sri Lankans who were targeted by militants on their last tour in March, 2009 in Lahore have already said they would prefer to play the series at neutral venues.

But the PCB recently has sent them a fresh invite and the spokesman for the board, Nadeem Sarwar said the Sri Lankans had also been asked for their views on playing in Pakistan.

“It is an official invitation and we are now waiting for their response,” he said.

The interesting thing is that Sri Lanka has offered to host Pakistan’s “home” series against England early next year because the England and Wales cricket board is not willing to play in Pakistan because of the security situation.

Sarwar said any team willing to tour Pakistan would be provided complete security with the consent and advice of the government.

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt this week had a meeting with the interior minister Rehman Malik in Islamabad to discuss the security arrangements for the forthcoming tour by the Afghanistan team.

In the meeting he also requested the minister that the government provide security assurances so that the board can convince foreign teams to tour Pakistan.

Pakistan is taking the tour by the Afghanistan team very seriously as the Afghans who play three one-day matches against the Pakistan A side would be the first foreign team to visit Pakistan since the attack on the Sri Lankans in which six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed while five visiting players were wounded.