Despite the recent tip-off for a potential terror threat to the tour, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has expressed his confidence in hosting Sri Lanka in Pakistan for limited-overs clashes later this month.
Sri Lanka are due to tour Pakistan for three ODIs and as many T20Is beginning from September but a spanner was thrown into the works recently after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) received intel from its government for a possible terror threat.
That prompted the SLC to declare that they would be ‘reassessing’ the security conditions for the tour despite a two-member delegation from the board earlier giving the all-clear for the tour after a visit to Pakistan last month.
Despite the latest developments, the PCB chairman remains confident that the tour will go ahead as planned.
“Our decision is very clear and we are not exploring any other neutral venue,” Mani told the media in Lahore on Friday.
“We don’t have the time to shift or lookout for any other option right now. Our default position is that it is Pakistan’s home series and it will be played in the country.
“This has been the understanding right from the start and we are in discussions with the Sri Lanka board and they are also very positive about sending their team.”
The tour is slated to take place in Karachi and Lahore with the former hosting the three ODIs while the latter will be the stage for the three-match T20 series. As many as 10 Sri Lanka players including skippers Dimuth Karunaratne and Lasith Malinga had earlier made themselves unavailable for the tour after citing security concerns.
In their absence, Sri Lanka have named rejigged ODI and T20 teams led by Lahiru Thirimanne and Dasun Shanaka respectively. While the big Sri Lanka stars may be missing, Mani is under no doubts that SLC will fulfil its commitments to the PCB.
“We didn’t get any negative feedback from their board and they never said that they are not coming,” he said.
“All they are seeking is their government’s permission and they are engaging with them. There are speculations that they are sending their under-strength team but it’s their prerogative.
“But what is important that international cricket will be played in Pakistan, and Sri Lanka is fulfilling their commitment.”
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