Sri Lanka to end Pakistan’s cricketing isolation with October series in country

Friday, February 25, 2011

NEW DELHI - Sri Lanka has decided to end Pakistan’s cricketing isolation in October-November by touring the country to play three Test matches, five One-dayers and one Twenty20 match.

Sri Lanka will thus become the first nation to tour Pakistan after the terror attack in March 2009 in Lahore.

Sri Lanka is scheduled to tour Pakistan in October this year under the Future Tests Programme.

The attacks on the Sri Lanka team bus on March 9, 2009, killed eight people and injured seven Sri Lanka players as well as their assistant coach, leading to the suspension of all international cricket in Pakistan.

The suspension also meant Pakistan has been forced to play their home series in the United Arab Emirates, England and New Zealand for the last two years.

Pakistan Cricket Board welcomed the statement of Chairman Sri Lanka Cricket, Somachandra de Silva, on playing in Pakistan for their next series in October, Gulf News reports.

Commenting on the development, PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt said, “The comments of De Silva are reassuring and will help a long way in restoring the confidence of international community in playing cricket in Pakistan.”

Butt also went on to say: “Sri Lanka is a brotherly nation and they have always stood by our side whenever we have needed them. Whatever happened was tragic and every cricket loving Pakistani was feeling sad for the Sri Lankan Team in 2009.”

Expressing the feelings of Pakistan fans, Butt said: “Pakistani fans are missing the big events of cricket at home and they are waiting for the international teams to visit Pakistan.”

“We are in constant touch with International Cricket Council, The Task Team on Pakistan and the other Boards in this regard and are hopeful of international cricket return to Pakistan very soon”, he added. (ANI)

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