Pakistan confident in hosting Sri Lanka, Says Ehsan Mani – PCB Chairman
The Pakistan Cricket Board’s chairman Ehsan Mani is confident in hosting Sri Lanka later this month. Ehsan Mani said that neither he nor his board was looking for a neutral venue to shift the series.
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani confident to host Sri Lanka
The Sri Lanka cricket team’s tour was thrown in doubts after the Sri Lankan government received news of a possible terrorist threat on the Sri Lankan cricket team just after two days the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced their touring squads without their ten frontline players that refused to travel to Pakistan due to security concerns.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka will play 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is in Karachi and Lahore between September 27 and October 9 according to their original schedule.
Ehsan Mani informed during the press in Lahore on Friday that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was in discussion with the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and that he expected the tour to continue as they planned. Ehsan Mani said that their decision is very clear and they are not exploring any other neutral venue. He further said that they don’t have the time to look out for any other option right now and that its Pakistan’s home series and it will be played in Pakistan. Ehsan Mani declared that this has been their understanding right from the start and they are in discussions with the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and they are very positive about sending their team.
The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had committed to the tour after a thorough security assessment before the Sri Lankan government received the news of possible terrorist threats on the Sri Lanka Cricket team after which the Sri Lankan government asked for the reassessment of the security situation in Pakistan.
Ehsan Mani said that they did not get any negative feedback from the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and they never said they are not coming. Mani further stated that the SLC is seeking their government’s permission and they are engaging with them. Ehsan Mani said that there are speculations that they are sending their under-strength team but what is important is that international cricket will be played in Pakistan, and Sri Lanka is fulfilling their commitment.
The series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be the longest international series played in Pakistan for the last decade. It will also be the first international activity in Pakistan in 18 months after the West Indies tour in April 2018. Sri Lanka’s tour to Pakistan was supposed to include two test matches as well but they have been further postponed to December. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is determined to host them in Pakistan as well.
The National Stadium in Karachi will serve as the host for the 3 ODIs while the 3 T20Is will be played in Lahore.
The international cricket in Pakistan came to a halt after Sri Lanka’s cricket team was attacked by gunmen on their way to the ground in Lahore in 2009. Several players were injured during the attack.
After the incident, Pakistan was deprived of hosting any international cricket for around 6 years until 2015 where Zimbabwe’s cricket team agreed to come to Pakistan for a quick series of 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs which were played in Lahore.
The Pakistan Super League and the tour of World XI to Pakistan in 2017 played a major role in the revival of international cricket in Pakistan.
The last international tour to Pakistan was of West Indies in April 2018 where they played 3 T20Is on consecutive days in the National Stadium, Karachi.