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Terrorist threat casts doubt over Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan

Assistance was sought after the SLC received a warning from the Prime Minister’s Office

PHOTO: AFP

Sri Lanka’s scheduled tour of Pakistan hit another major roadblock, as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) sought the assistance of the Sri Lankan government to conduct a ‘Reassessment’ of the security situation in Pakistan ahead of the tour according to an update by the SLC.

The assistance was sought after the SLC received a warning from the Prime Minister’s Office, sent via the Ministry of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports.

 The warning highlights that the Prime Minister’s Office has received reliable information of a possible terrorist threat on the Sri Lanka team, while touring Pakistan.

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The SLC has been advised to take extreme care and ‘reassess’ the situation, before embarking on the said tour.

Earlier, ten Sri Lankan players, including T20I skipper Lasith Malinga and ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne, pulled out of an upcoming tour of Pakistan citing security concerns.

The other eight who opted out were Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal and Dinesh Chandimal.

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Following a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009, a majority of international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country.

The tour has been seen as another step towards reviving international cricket in Pakistan after years of isolation.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also shared a brief response on this development.

"We have seen the SLC statement, but are not privy to any information or intelligence report relating to safety of the SL team," the board said in a statement. "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."