No games to be played in Sylhet during Sri Lanka’s tour of Bangladesh

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

“We as a country, including his excellency the president [Mahinda Rajapaksa] is very keen that Sri Lanka tours Bangladesh”

None of the matches during Sri Lanka’s tour of Bangladesh will be played in Sylhet due to Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) concern about the venue posing a security risk.

Sri Lanka’s security committee, which includes vice-president Mohan de Silva, inspected all the security plans and venues ahead of the series, which is scheduled to get underway later this month.

“We were considering the time duration from hotel to venue,” de Silva said. “At this time, we just think that instead of playing just one or two games in one venue, if we can confine ourselves to venues within the shortest period of time the team can get from the hotel to the venue, that is advisable for us.”

De Silva also noted that Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa was “very keen” for the tour to go ahead.

“We as a country, including his excellency the president [Mahinda Rajapaksa] is very keen that Sri Lanka tours Bangladesh,” he said. “But at the same time, we have had some traumatic experiences in other countries. Therefore the security of the players is of paramount importance to us.

“Because of the political unrest that has been there in Bangladesh in recent times, our cricket board has sent a security team to assess and ascertain the correct ground situation. We have also been in constant touch with the Sri Lankan high commissioner in Dhaka. He has also been assured by prime minister [Sheikh Hasina] that the fullest security will be provided for us.”

De Silva added that he was pleased with the security plans shown to him by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

“We were in Chittagong on Monday where we met the police commissioner there,” he said. “Today we had a very successful discussion with Dhaka’s police commissioner. We were quite satisfied, impressed with the security plan he has provided. We also had a few concerns which we brought to their notice.

“Therefore, we are quite happy. But we have to go back and report to our executive committee and they will take the final decision.”

Meanwhile, Dhaka police commissioner Benazir Ahmed stated that the security situation in Bangladesh has drastically improved.

“The security situation in Dhaka and across the country has certainly been good,” Ahmed said. “We believe that we can give full-proof security to our guests.”

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