SLC will not push anyone to go to Pakistan – Gurusinha


by Rex Clementine

Sri Lanka will carefully assess the security situation in Pakistan before committing to play in the country in the upcoming bilateral series, the national team’s Cricket Manger Asanka Gurusinha told The Island.

Pakistan Cricket Board released the itinerary for the bilateral series last week and accordingly the third and final T-20 International is scheduled to take place in Lahore whereas the rest of the series will be played in UAE. PCB added that the Lahore game will go ahead only after security clearance.

The Sri Lankan team touring Pakistan will be a huge boost for the country’s cricket board as little cricket has taken place in the country after a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009. On their way to the third day’s play of the second Test match in Lahore, gunmen fired at the Sri Lankan bus injuring several players and members of the coaching staff. Several policemen were killed while Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavithana were severely hurt.

During a recent Asian Cricket Council meeting in Colombo, SLC Chief Thilanga Sumathipala agreed to send the Sri Lankan team to Pakistan provided there was security clearance.

"We will wait and see whether the clearance comes through from the ICC. Currently the World XI is playing a series and we would like to see how those games go. We will send our security experts too to check the situation in Lahore," Gurusinha told The Island.

"To me personally, it will be a great opportunity to say thank you for Pakistan for what they did to us in 1996 provided the security clearance comes through," Gurusinha noted.

The former top order batsman was referring to PCB sending six of their top players to Sri Lanka to partner six players from India in a friendly match against Sri Lanka after Australia and West Indies pulled out of their 1996 World Cup group games days after the Central Bank bombing."

"It will be great if we can go, but at the same time, I know that SLC will not push anybody to go. We will discuss the matter over the next couple of days," Gurusinha added.

Pakistan’s ‘home’ games are currently being played in UAE due to security fears. ICC has taken several steps to get cricket back to Pakistan and according international status to the World XI games that will get underway today in Lahore is one such step.

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