Pakistan news May 21, 2011

Pakistan sound out SL over playing at home

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The PCB has asked Sri Lanka Cricket "for their views" on the prospect of playing their series later this year in Pakistan instead of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka were the last team to play international cricket in Pakistan - their tour in March 2009 was cut short after terrorists attacked their team bus as it was on the way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for the second Test.

That attack, on the back of growing security concerns over the previous two years, brought to an end international cricket in the country, taking away the 2011 World Cup in the process.

The two sides are due to play a full Test and limited-overs series in October, scheduled in the FTP officially as a 'home' series for Pakistan. Until now the series was due to take place in Sri Lanka, but after a meeting between PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik on Thursday, the government is keen on bringing international cricket back to the country.

"The government wants this [series to be held in Pakistan]," a senior PCB official told ESPNcricinfo. "We have asked SLC again to let us have their views on the issue."

The prospect of the series actually taking place in Pakistan remains a distant one. So far the government has only passed on verbal instructions to the PCB, who in turn have written to SLC. As of Saturday, when a SLC official was asked about the development or whether the board had been approached, he told ESPNcricinfo: "Not to my knowledge."

Most of Pakistan's major cities - where such a series is likely to be played - have been targeted fairly recently by terrorist attacks, within the last year in the cases of Lahore and Karachi. At the beginning of this month Osama bin Laden was killed in an operation by US forces in Abbottabad, a town not far from the country's capital Islamabad.

Pakistan have played their 'home' series since the Lahore attacks at a number of venues; a series against South Africa was arranged in the UAE. In 2009-10, they broke up a full tour of New Zealand by playing the ODIs in Abu Dhabi and the Tests in New Zealand itself. They used England as a venue for two 'home' Tests against Australia last summer. Pakistan is also, incidentally, in talks with SLC over staging their series with England over the turn of the year in Sri Lanka.

Afghanistan will actually become the first international team to play in Pakistan next week when they take on Pakistan 'A' in three 50-over games. Interestingly enough, one of the games was arranged for Abbottabad, but after the meeting between Butt and Malik the venue was switched to Islamabad.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • fk2000 on May 24, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    is the PCB delusional? why would any international team want to come to Pakistan right now? from the common citizen to the "highly secured" naval bases, there is no security or law and order. why invite sri lanka to play in pakistan when nothing good can come out of it. even if a tour goes well, it will not convince anyone else to come to pakistan. if something goes wrong, then international matches will be banned forever. the PCB's plans to bring cricket back to Pakistan can't exist in a bubble. they will go hand in hand with the security situation in pakistan. for now, Pakistan should play their home matches in UAE or maybe SL or BD. I would say England too but i'm sure they love our behavior from last time we were invited. time to be realistic.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on May 24, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    Players are not robots. They have fear in mind. In such case they cannot play natural game. No need to blame others for the situation in own country. First improve security and then ask for tour.

  • beeran on May 23, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    quite possible.shedule all the matches in a single location(say gadhafi stadium) and arrange the accomadation of players in site so that security cover will be foolproof.try to arrange a tri series involving afghanistan.take adequate care to prevent mischief makers around or from east!

  • Baundele on May 23, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    @pkXI, it is not about hating or blaming it is about facts and the fact is Sri lankan cricketers were shot last time they visited pakistan. Whoever be the responsible is secondary, the pakistan govt could not provide the security. As long as others want to help pakistan, they have to help themselves first. Blaming india or al-qaeda does not help.

  • dsig3 on May 23, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    Why would anyone go there? Let them suffer in isolation.

  • mso797 on May 23, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    i hate 2 say this but we can't put the matches in karachi or lahore i think we should use faislabad islamibad or somthin as east as possible away from all the chaos

  • pkXI on May 23, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    "I always feel the game should continue but to accuse Pakistan of cheating brings tensions to the fore. This kind of decision is potentially inflammatory. I was torn between my principles and a desire to help the side." - Bob Woolmer Why do people hate Pakistanis and think they are always up to something against others? These attacks are done by Taliban and Al Qaeda who seek to destroy everything. Pakistan's reputation has gone down because of what terrorists do. In the future please don't go against Pakistanis,Muslims,etc. just because idiotic terrorists attacked. The Sri Lankan team. If Afghanistan, a country who's government blames Pakistan for everything like Indians do, have the courage to play there, than why can't other teams come?

  • evenflow_1990 on May 23, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    on the condition that they actually provide security this time ...

  • budhajeewa on May 23, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    Pakistan should not take the risk of inviting others to play in Pakistan. Although it'll help Pakistan Cricket if succeeded, should there be another attack on players from other countries, that will be very very bad for Pakistan Cricket.

    The only thing they can do is playing either in UAE or SL, until things get better.

  • Ronsars on May 23, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    Inspite of being an Indian i still feel International Cricket should return to Pakistan.The incident which happened in 2009 was highly unfortunate & it would be better if SL be the first nation to tour Pak now...Who knows later we can see Ind-Pak tests in Pak.Good luck both our neighbours.Hope SLC accepts PCB offer..Keeping my fingers crossed

  • fk2000 on May 24, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    is the PCB delusional? why would any international team want to come to Pakistan right now? from the common citizen to the "highly secured" naval bases, there is no security or law and order. why invite sri lanka to play in pakistan when nothing good can come out of it. even if a tour goes well, it will not convince anyone else to come to pakistan. if something goes wrong, then international matches will be banned forever. the PCB's plans to bring cricket back to Pakistan can't exist in a bubble. they will go hand in hand with the security situation in pakistan. for now, Pakistan should play their home matches in UAE or maybe SL or BD. I would say England too but i'm sure they love our behavior from last time we were invited. time to be realistic.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on May 24, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    Players are not robots. They have fear in mind. In such case they cannot play natural game. No need to blame others for the situation in own country. First improve security and then ask for tour.

  • beeran on May 23, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    quite possible.shedule all the matches in a single location(say gadhafi stadium) and arrange the accomadation of players in site so that security cover will be foolproof.try to arrange a tri series involving afghanistan.take adequate care to prevent mischief makers around or from east!

  • Baundele on May 23, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    @pkXI, it is not about hating or blaming it is about facts and the fact is Sri lankan cricketers were shot last time they visited pakistan. Whoever be the responsible is secondary, the pakistan govt could not provide the security. As long as others want to help pakistan, they have to help themselves first. Blaming india or al-qaeda does not help.

  • dsig3 on May 23, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    Why would anyone go there? Let them suffer in isolation.

  • mso797 on May 23, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    i hate 2 say this but we can't put the matches in karachi or lahore i think we should use faislabad islamibad or somthin as east as possible away from all the chaos

  • pkXI on May 23, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    "I always feel the game should continue but to accuse Pakistan of cheating brings tensions to the fore. This kind of decision is potentially inflammatory. I was torn between my principles and a desire to help the side." - Bob Woolmer Why do people hate Pakistanis and think they are always up to something against others? These attacks are done by Taliban and Al Qaeda who seek to destroy everything. Pakistan's reputation has gone down because of what terrorists do. In the future please don't go against Pakistanis,Muslims,etc. just because idiotic terrorists attacked. The Sri Lankan team. If Afghanistan, a country who's government blames Pakistan for everything like Indians do, have the courage to play there, than why can't other teams come?

  • evenflow_1990 on May 23, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    on the condition that they actually provide security this time ...

  • budhajeewa on May 23, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    Pakistan should not take the risk of inviting others to play in Pakistan. Although it'll help Pakistan Cricket if succeeded, should there be another attack on players from other countries, that will be very very bad for Pakistan Cricket.

    The only thing they can do is playing either in UAE or SL, until things get better.

  • Ronsars on May 23, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    Inspite of being an Indian i still feel International Cricket should return to Pakistan.The incident which happened in 2009 was highly unfortunate & it would be better if SL be the first nation to tour Pak now...Who knows later we can see Ind-Pak tests in Pak.Good luck both our neighbours.Hope SLC accepts PCB offer..Keeping my fingers crossed

  • ygkd on May 22, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    The cricketing world should look forward to the day when Pakistan is again open for play, but when that time will come is anyone's guess.

  • on May 22, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    Sri Lanka is our Friendly country.....

  • on May 22, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    as we sri lankan i still plez with Pak. coming here in 1996, we went there last time .when others didn't will 2 go, but we know what was append, it was unfortunately ure fault not ours! we can't c situation is different up now!! sorry friend i can c still it is a good idea to visit Pak..

  • on May 22, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    will SL go,,,,,,,,,if yes get readi for sm newssssssss,,

  • Dharaka on May 22, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    Sri Lanka will definitely tour Pakistan as we Asians are united when it comes to cricket. South Asia rules cricket. We Sri Lankans will never forget how Wasim Akram and Muhammed Azaruddin brought their Pakistan and India teams to Colombo in 1996 to show to the rest of the world that it is a safe place. We are forever grateful for that.

  • wisdom350 on May 22, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    It will be great to see international cricket in pakistan INSHALLAH!! lankans are really great towards pakistan i m sure that lankans love pakistan and as a pakistani i love srilanka @sanath007 INSHALLAH pakistan will guarantee security and international cricket will return in pakistan.........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on May 22, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    This is hillarious..but I wont be suprised is SLBCC agrees with rediculous idea..They(SLBCC) certainly dont care about players. Time for all cricket lovers in SL to stand against this plot to kill SLn cricket team !

  • muxa on May 22, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    its really good to read that finally cricket will INSHAllah return to pakistan this year with srilankans visiting pakistan again

  • FIPL on May 22, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    It will be great if SL tour Pakistan. @ Herath-UK, if no interational umpire comes, bring it from Bangladesh and ZIM

  • on May 22, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    Really pleased to see the positive comments from the Sri Lankans, you people really are true friends, we in Pakistan love you guys a lot.. thank you!!

  • on May 22, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    @ Asanka de Silva... im a Pakistani & im literally flattered by the way you've shown support for us, it really means a lot to us. Pakistan loves Sri Lanka! :)

  • on May 22, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    iam sure SL feedback will be a positive 1 4 paks......

  • courierpost on May 22, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    Cricket in Pakistan not a bad idea as long as few SEAL touring with SL team

  • on May 22, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    The tour should go on. But there should be fool-proof security ...

  • sanath007 on May 22, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    Only if security is guaranteed. we almost lost our team there, but as a lankan i would like to see cricket in pakistan.

  • on May 22, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    It's "Hilarious" to say the least !! SLC must be out of their mind if they risk their players' lives once again.

  • on May 22, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    It will be great to see Team Lanka back in Pakistan. Im sure the Pakistanis will provide them the best security this time. Lets hope and pray....

  • on May 22, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    Why not... Sri Lankans will come for sure :D

  • Natesan333 on May 21, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Good luck.......I really mean it, why does that sound sarcastic!!! :p

  • on May 21, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    In the name of solidarity with our Pakistan, our friend and ally, we should tour. The Pakistani people deserve to watch international cricket. Game on!

  • Herath-UK on May 21, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    I would like our Lankan players to give the best possible help to Pakistan but I wonder even if SLC agrees,will the ICC agree? I do not think any international umpire from any other country will come to umpire in Pakistan,the ICC umpires will boycott.That will be the dead end. Ranil Herath, Kent

  • danidu on May 21, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    They should definitely go, SL does really well in Pakistan normally, provided some sri lankan soldiers can also go to guard the players to prevent what happened last time...just in case.

  • on May 21, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    thats laughable thing to ask..

  • Ryan_H on May 21, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    Thanks but NO Thanks! Once bitten always shy.

  • on May 21, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    SriLanka should tour Pakistan, like Pakistan have toured SriLanka in 90s when there was unrest in Srilanka, our players never hesitated in touring SriLanka. The attack on the team was an incident which must not result in permanent ban on International cricket in a cricket crazy county like Pakistan. I hope we see some action, soon.

  • Stark62 on May 21, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    It's still unstable but it doesn't matter because the fans want the pcb to be reformed!

    Only then should we concentrate on other things!

  • stormy16 on May 21, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    This is a hard one and you cant expect SL to be keen to tour Pakistan after being shot at last time! Having said that the game must come back to Pakistan, its simply insane for Pakistan not to be able to play cricket at home. SL is probably best placed to be the first team to tour Pakistan looking at the issues they faced in the past but I am not sure if with the current security situation if international cricket can go on.

  • first_slip on May 21, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    ah...you must be joking...

  • nasir159 on May 21, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    I hope cricket will return to pakistan because people are missing international cricket and people need some joy

  • Powell_jason on May 21, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    This must be the best ever practical joke by PCB

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  • Powell_jason on May 21, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    This must be the best ever practical joke by PCB

  • nasir159 on May 21, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    I hope cricket will return to pakistan because people are missing international cricket and people need some joy

  • first_slip on May 21, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    ah...you must be joking...

  • stormy16 on May 21, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    This is a hard one and you cant expect SL to be keen to tour Pakistan after being shot at last time! Having said that the game must come back to Pakistan, its simply insane for Pakistan not to be able to play cricket at home. SL is probably best placed to be the first team to tour Pakistan looking at the issues they faced in the past but I am not sure if with the current security situation if international cricket can go on.

  • Stark62 on May 21, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    It's still unstable but it doesn't matter because the fans want the pcb to be reformed!

    Only then should we concentrate on other things!

  • on May 21, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    SriLanka should tour Pakistan, like Pakistan have toured SriLanka in 90s when there was unrest in Srilanka, our players never hesitated in touring SriLanka. The attack on the team was an incident which must not result in permanent ban on International cricket in a cricket crazy county like Pakistan. I hope we see some action, soon.

  • Ryan_H on May 21, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    Thanks but NO Thanks! Once bitten always shy.

  • on May 21, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    thats laughable thing to ask..

  • danidu on May 21, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    They should definitely go, SL does really well in Pakistan normally, provided some sri lankan soldiers can also go to guard the players to prevent what happened last time...just in case.

  • Herath-UK on May 21, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    I would like our Lankan players to give the best possible help to Pakistan but I wonder even if SLC agrees,will the ICC agree? I do not think any international umpire from any other country will come to umpire in Pakistan,the ICC umpires will boycott.That will be the dead end. Ranil Herath, Kent