Image courtesy of: Zimbio
International cricket could be returning to Pakistan next month after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said that they would play at least one Twenty20 International in Lahore, but only if “the logistical and operational plans fall in place”.
“Sri Lanka will play at least one of the three T20s in Lahore, in September,” a SLC statement said.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan are scheduled to play a full series in the United Arab Emirates in September, but given that Pakistan were willing to tour Sri Lanka despite there being a civil war, SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala admitted that it’s time Sri Lanka return the favour.
“I am keen to take my team to Pakistan,” Sumathipala said at the Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) AGM in Colombo on Saturday. “We have had our security experts visit and make an assessment, and things look positive with things improving all over the country and especially Lahore being cleared. We have three T20 games coming up against Pakistan in September and we would like to play at least one of those games in Lahore.
“I call upon each one of you as members to play your role and give Pakistan the security of your support. There is always risk – there were two attacks in London during the Champions Trophy – but cricket continued under the security assurances of the ICC, so likewise we too must be as accommodating and understanding as possible with our members and extend our fullest support to them as the cricketing family of Asia.”
Should Sri Lanka go through with playing even one Twenty20 International in Pakistan, it will mark the first time they have travelled to the country since the team bus was attacked by armed militants back in March 2009, which left six policemen and two civilians dead.