Sri Lanka’s scheduled tour of Pakistan has hit a roadblock, following warnings of a possible terrorist threat received from the Sri Lanka Prime Minister’s Office. Hours after the squads were announced for the upcoming tour, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a press release that the security situation in Pakistan is being reassessed with help from the Lankan government.
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 11, 2019
“The decision (to reassess the security situation) was taken following a warning, the SLC received from the Prime Minister’s Office, sent via the Ministry of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports,” the press release said.
“Accordingly, the warning highlights that the Prime Minister’s Office has received reliable information of a possible terrorist threat on the Sri Lankan team, while touring Pakistan. Hence, SLC has been advised to take extreme care, and ‘reassess’ the situation, before embarking on the said tour,” it added.
Around an hour after the Sri Lanka Cricket press release, the Pakistan Cricket Board sent out a release of its own, saying that it is “not privy to any information or intelligence report relating to safety of the SL team.”
We have seen the SLC statement, but are not privy to any information or intelligence report relating to safety of the SL team.
The PCB reiterates its commitment to provide complete safety and security to the SL side and in this relation will continue to work with the SLC.
— PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) September 11, 2019
A troubled tour
Sri Lanka are scheduled to play three ODIs and three T20I matches against Pakistan in Pakistan between September 27 and October 9.
Dimuth Karunaratne and Lasith Malinga informed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) of their unwillingness to travel to Pakistan earlier this week. Eight other players – Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Suranga Lakmal and Dinesh Chandimal – opted out of the tour.
On Wednesday, Sri Lanka announced two second-string squads for the Pakistan tour, with Lahiru Thirimanne and Dasun Shanaka being named as captains.
There has been no international cricket in Pakistan since 2009, when the Sri Lanka team was attacked by gunmen on their way to the ground in Lahore.