Sri Lankan cricketers fear playing T20I match in Pakistan
The Sri Lankan cricket squad has signed a letter stating that they do not want to travel to Lahore for a T20I match at the end of October.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) players have handed a letter to the board expressing that they do not wish to travel to Lahore for a T20I against Pakistan scheduled for October 29 at the Gaddafi Stadium.
According to Cricbuzz, the letter does not say that the players do not want to go to Pakistan, but requests consideration of a venue change.
"SLC will have a quick chat to the players very soon. We don't intend to disturb them in middle of a series, but we are left with no option but to address the issue. The ICC also will meet the players on Saturday to brief them about the situation in Lahore," an SLC source told Cricbuzz.
PCB reiterate that Sri Lanka will visit Lahore
On Monday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reiterated that Sri Lanka will visit Lahore for the lone T20I.
Najam Sethi, PCB’s chief, told the media that the match remains on despite the fact that SLC is due to meet in the next 24 hours to discuss the matter further
Pakistan’s skipper, Sarfraz Ahmed, assured that there is no cause for concern.
“See, as such there is no issue. I don't know what is happening (in the Sri Lanka camp). They should come. The recent World XI tour was successful, so they should not be worried,” Sarfraz said in a press conference before an ODI against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi.
“Their players did come [with the World XI], Thisara Perera came and played. Their team should visit and I hope they do come," he continued.
International cricket in Pakistan
In September, Pakistan hosted three T20Is against a World XI, an event that marked the return of international cricket to the South Asian country. The series, backed by the International Cricket Council (ICC), was a huge success.
“We are expecting to host the Sri Lankan team after the top security provided to the World eleven side which were appreciated PCB Chairman was asked that will Sri at the recent ICC meetings in Auckland,” Sethi told the press.
International cricket in Pakistan has been a delicate issue since March 2009, when a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers was attacked by 12 gunmen near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Six members of the team were injured, six Pakistani policemen, and two civilians were killed. The Sri Lankan team was on its way to play the third day of a second Test against Pakistan. After this event, only Zimbabwe toured Pakistan on May 2015 for a series consisting on three ODIs and two T20Is.
According to Sethi, PCB’s work has been to keep on improving security measures based on regular feedback from ICC security experts.