Pakistan news May 22, 2014

PCB inviting Sri Lanka to tour Pakistan - Sethi

34

Najam Sethi, the PCB chairman, has said the Pakistan board is inviting Sri Lanka over for a series, asserting that Pakistan is "ready" to host international cricket in the country once again.

The PCB's invite follows Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa's statement on Tuesday, when, on the sidelines of a summit in China, he said that his cricket team "must go to Pakistan and play there". The PCB decided to write Sri Lanka Cricket, offering its team a series in Pakistan.

Pakistan has been a no-go zone for major international cricket since March 2009, when terrorists attacked the Sri Lanka team bus on its way to Gaddafi Stadium on the third morning of a Test. Several cricketers were injured in the attack, including Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paravitarana. Six security men and two civilians were killed.

"We must go and play there also," President Rajapaksa said during a meeting with Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain. "We can't allow the terrorists to have control."

Responding swiftly to the statement, Sethi said: "We are very much concerned about being isolated, without major international cricket in Pakistan. We have heard the positive statement by the president of Sri Lanka and we are writing them and offering them a home series in Pakistan.

"We are writing them that there is no security problem and you are welcome and we will provide you the maximum security with the help of the Punjab Government.

"We are ready to host them and will chalk out a suitable window for them. Our top priority is to host an international team and we are making efforts to do that."

This is not the first time the Sri Lanka government has hinted at having intentions to help Pakistan in breaking their isolation, but the discussions never bred anything concrete previously. The PCB also tried hard to negotiate home series' with the Bangladesh Cricket Board, but the series never happened, with Bangladesh twice withdrawing after seemingly having committed.

The PCB had tried to win back the confidence of players by organising a lucrative Twenty20 league, offering top players from around the world a chance to earn over $100,000, tax-free, in 10 days. But the plan was hit by logistical problems, and the board had to postpone it indefinitely.

Pakistan is set to tour Sri Lanka in August to play two Tests and three one-day internationals. They will then host Australia and New Zealand in the UAE, from October 3 to December 19.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 12, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    ckfrombrisbane. wt happened. it's only an invitation. take it easy dude. we love SL team a lot...

  • on May 27, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    not needed the police for security. they should arrange army protection for players

  • CKfrombrisbane on May 26, 2014, 23:01 GMT

    SL will not tour Pak until everything is assured safe. SL president can not force the team to go without analysing the security over there. This is so stupid.

  • ms2000 on May 26, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    We Sri Lankans are with you Pakistan!

  • vkumar_086 on May 24, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    @ Adnan Farooqui....If Pak is safe for any sports then why it is unable to host a single match in last 6 years.....Bangladesh hosted two major events-Asia cup and T20 WC in this year alone...

    @Jasir Noor Memon....your words are very near to reality

  • ziazai on May 24, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    What Jasir Noor Memon said is wrong. Pakistan is a very big country and not every place is unsafe but some could be happened anywhere. Our government can provide security to any team. Just we have to belief on ourselves. Srilanka you are welcome.

  • on May 24, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    Pakistan is a safe place for any type of sports.ICC should check the security issues,and then play a vital role to bring cricket back in Pakistan...

  • q4Qasim on May 24, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Pakistan cricket fans missing home cricket matches since 3rd March 2009 if they can visit all countries for different tournaments why not neighbor countries visit Pakistan. A fear of terrorists attack stops all cricket nations away from Pakistan home series and this not only gives financial losses to Pakistan but also Pakistani nation missing home matches in their own grounds . The grass of all grounds become vanished, the chairs become old without using and doors become rusted. Now Pakistan cricket grounds looks like Museum and horror place where only Owl and Bat living. So Sri Lankan cricket team should show braveness and start a series to show the world that Pakistan is a safe place for cricket and once this happens all other countries will start visiting Pakistan. It's time for Sri Lanka to return some pride to Gaddafi Stadium Lahore where they won WC 1996.

  • Gloryof96 on May 24, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    We should do it and the logistical issues needs to be taken care of.

    How can I ever forget what Pak & Ind did to us in 1996, they played as one team for the first time since 1948, these are our brothers.

  • on May 23, 2014, 22:54 GMT

    I am a Pakistani supporter but I dont think Pakistan is a safe place. Until ICC allows no team should visit Pakistan. What if Srilankan team is attacked again? Who will be responsible for the lives of innocent players and the future stars. Please Srilanka if you want to visit Pakistan then you should make sure that you guys will be safe. OR else government of Pakistan should give army protection to Srilankan team.

  • on November 12, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    ckfrombrisbane. wt happened. it's only an invitation. take it easy dude. we love SL team a lot...

  • on May 27, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    not needed the police for security. they should arrange army protection for players

  • CKfrombrisbane on May 26, 2014, 23:01 GMT

    SL will not tour Pak until everything is assured safe. SL president can not force the team to go without analysing the security over there. This is so stupid.

  • ms2000 on May 26, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    We Sri Lankans are with you Pakistan!

  • vkumar_086 on May 24, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    @ Adnan Farooqui....If Pak is safe for any sports then why it is unable to host a single match in last 6 years.....Bangladesh hosted two major events-Asia cup and T20 WC in this year alone...

    @Jasir Noor Memon....your words are very near to reality

  • ziazai on May 24, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    What Jasir Noor Memon said is wrong. Pakistan is a very big country and not every place is unsafe but some could be happened anywhere. Our government can provide security to any team. Just we have to belief on ourselves. Srilanka you are welcome.

  • on May 24, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    Pakistan is a safe place for any type of sports.ICC should check the security issues,and then play a vital role to bring cricket back in Pakistan...

  • q4Qasim on May 24, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Pakistan cricket fans missing home cricket matches since 3rd March 2009 if they can visit all countries for different tournaments why not neighbor countries visit Pakistan. A fear of terrorists attack stops all cricket nations away from Pakistan home series and this not only gives financial losses to Pakistan but also Pakistani nation missing home matches in their own grounds . The grass of all grounds become vanished, the chairs become old without using and doors become rusted. Now Pakistan cricket grounds looks like Museum and horror place where only Owl and Bat living. So Sri Lankan cricket team should show braveness and start a series to show the world that Pakistan is a safe place for cricket and once this happens all other countries will start visiting Pakistan. It's time for Sri Lanka to return some pride to Gaddafi Stadium Lahore where they won WC 1996.

  • Gloryof96 on May 24, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    We should do it and the logistical issues needs to be taken care of.

    How can I ever forget what Pak & Ind did to us in 1996, they played as one team for the first time since 1948, these are our brothers.

  • on May 23, 2014, 22:54 GMT

    I am a Pakistani supporter but I dont think Pakistan is a safe place. Until ICC allows no team should visit Pakistan. What if Srilankan team is attacked again? Who will be responsible for the lives of innocent players and the future stars. Please Srilanka if you want to visit Pakistan then you should make sure that you guys will be safe. OR else government of Pakistan should give army protection to Srilankan team.

  • goldeneye075 on May 23, 2014, 15:10 GMT

    @caromball Yes I do agree with you, Ramith Rambukwella should be in the team if they are touring Pakistan, and I also would like Namal Rajapaksa , and Yositha Rajapakse need to be in team (also the other one , I can not remember the name), although they have little experience in cricket. (Although backyard cricket at some point in their lives)

  • on May 23, 2014, 15:09 GMT

    soon the cricket will be back in pakistan insALLAH

  • on May 23, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    srilanka is our very good friends. they treat us like there brothers just like we treat them. if they agree to tour then this could be a start of rebirth of international cricket in Pakistan. I hope srilanka agrees and pakistan provides them with the best of security in turn doesn't disappoint us again. hope for the best.

  • on May 23, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    Srilanka is the First team always who support Pakistan in difficult situations and real Brave players of Srilanka who are ready to visit Pakistan again after a serious imcident in Past. And if Srilanka will tour Pakistan then PCB should arrange fool proof security and better to give the charge pf security to Pak Army because they are only safe hands. And waiting badly to International cricket comes back in Pakistan. Thanks Srilanka.

  • Malik_Murad on May 23, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    @Caromball: Let me remind you what happened in 1996 WC. Aus and WI forfeited their matches of WC-1996 against SL. Pakistan supported SL during their bad times (civil war for couple of decades during 90s). When SL reached final against Aus that was played in Lahore, the entire stadium was supporting SL because they had faced embarrassment caused by AUS and WI for not playing in SL land. SL Captain said it was just like playing at home (because of the kind of support they got in and outside the stadium). So, when now Pak needs a team to support them, what is the harm if SL is ready to play. 'A friend in need is a friend indeed"'

  • caromball on May 23, 2014, 1:29 GMT

    I do not think any Sri Lankan player who went that troubled tour earlier there will go again even Sri Lankan president ask them.Tell me who want to die for nothing?Because if anything happen President and the SL government will not take any responsibility.Only Sri Lanka will loose some good players for the future.If SL decides to tour Pakistan Ramith Rambukwella must be included in the team(only for tours in Pakistan till it is 100% safe) whether he is good enough or not.

  • on May 23, 2014, 1:09 GMT

    Dear Pakisthanis, Cricket is a game of unity.As a Sri lankan i like to see Cricket in pakisthan Once again.

  • anilkp on May 22, 2014, 23:03 GMT

    You are wrong, Mr. Rajapaksa!

    While in Pakistan as the President of your country, you do not travel from the hotel to the venues in a team bus, you do not dodge bullets, you do not get shot at your shoulder and stomach, the windows of your bus do not get shattered, you do spend weeks in hospital as some of your countrymen did. It is easy for you to say this, we understand you need diplomatic leverage. But what about your innocent players? Are they chickens, sheep or goats to be butchered? What proof do you have that Pakistan is back to its secure potential to host international matches?

  • on May 22, 2014, 22:39 GMT

    Pakistan should not be permitted to host international cricket in Pakistan until its terrorist problem is solved. It was amazing that no cricketers died in the attack - yet some who experienced it could be placed in the same position again. Pakistan needs to know that the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan players should determine that international cricket is not played in Pakistan for a considerably longer period. It's good that Pakistan can use the UAE as its international base.

  • on May 22, 2014, 21:43 GMT

    We need cricket in Pakistan, most talented players from all departments.

  • Desihungama on May 22, 2014, 21:06 GMT

    We must heartily congratulate Sri Lanka for this gesture but I am afraid nothing will change. No other International team will tour because this no go zone was just a farce as teams and managements are fully aware that foreign team can be well protected during a tour (The attack on SLankan team was a one off case since provincial and federal governments were at loggerheads and purposely reduced the security back then but this is not the case any longer) and it is safe to tour. There are plenty foreigners living and visiting Pakistan. After all Australia refused to visit back in 1998. However, all will change if India gives a go and this is the crux of matter. But what I am interested is who ordered that attack in first place? We all know who the hired guns were but who hired them?

  • vkumar_086 on May 22, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    I hope this time the same incident wont happen.....by the by where is the 6 series against India in 8 years....there is no confirmation yet from BCCI, 99% possibility that it wont happen

  • on May 22, 2014, 20:34 GMT

    Srilanka is the First team always who support Pakistan in difficult situations and real Brave players of Srilanka who are ready to visit Pakistan again after a serious imcident in Past. And if Srilanka will tour Pakistan then PCB should arrange fool proof security and better to give the charge pf security to Pak Army because they are only safe hands. And waiting badly to International cricket comes back in Pakistan. Thanks Srilanka.

  • on May 22, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    its ok but pakistan must provide full seciurity to our players, if any mistake happen anyone will never visit pakistan

  • on May 22, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    After the shooting incident we cant depend on Pak security to protect our players if a same thing happen again, SL Military should handle team security in Pak

  • on May 22, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    The brightest aspect in international cricket at the moment is the friendly relations b/w Pakistan and Sri Lanka. These two have been supporting each other for decade and I think this is high time that Sri Lanka extend it's support for Pakistan and visit for a short tour just to let others know that Pakistan is certainly a safe place for cricket. Now first Pakistan government must design a security plan and then discuss it with Sri Lankan Government. Respect for Sri Lanka and all the best to Pakistan!

  • on May 22, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    Thanks Amila K, For giving us a friendly nation ,,,, yes we have a lot of respect for SL nation too ,,,, and Pakistan should gave SL cricket team a fool proof security ,,, and you can't immagine how much we,ll be happy when cricket will restart in our country ,,,,

  • on May 22, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    full series is not possible at the moment. Pakistan are scheduled to play a lot of cricket later this year till world cup. but a small series like t20 series will be a good start. SL have always supported paksitan and like wise Paksitan did. But 1 st thing pak need is to get their administration in order. And then plan this series. providing SL Maximum security like head of states.

  • on May 22, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    Pakistan cricket and Srilankan cricket have stood beside each other during tough times. It would be great if Srilankan would come to play in Pakistan as it would prove that there are no more security issues in Pakistan. Hope they don't bail out this time tough

  • t20cric on May 22, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    I always knew SL would be the first team to tour Pakistan whenever they have adequate security. I hope this tour actually happens and if it does then I think Sethi would deserve a long uninterrupted run as PCB chairman. He is making a lot of promises like 6 tours with INdia in next 8 years as well as hosting SL in Pakistan.

  • on May 22, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    SL is always 2nd favorite team for Pakistani supporters and same way Sri Lankans support Pakistan against any time except home country. The have been called friendly foes on cricket grounds. It was a dark day in the history of Pakistan when the unfortunate incident of attack happened on their soil. Now, if there is any country that can come to Pakistan's rescue, its none other than SL. Both boards should sit together and plan a short tour or even a single match. That would do a lot good for the game of cricket in this region.

  • on May 22, 2014, 16:00 GMT

    Malepas you are right. They were friends always and hope to see them always together. We appreciate Sri Lanka Cricket board for their concern and hope to see them once again in Pakistan.. We love you Sri Lanka... Salute Sri Lankan Cricket Board

  • on May 22, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    yeh we like to play in pakistan but they have to provide 100% security. of course pakistan is a friendly nation.

  • malepas on May 22, 2014, 15:47 GMT

    I think Sri Lanka will be the first team to tour Pakistan whenever this will happen, the security is quite improved in recent times and I think Pakistan will provide them 5 star security anyway and a small series like 3 ODI-1 t20 will be a good start. Pakistan needs friends like Sri Lanka as PAK helped them during the darker times in 90's.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • malepas on May 22, 2014, 15:47 GMT

    I think Sri Lanka will be the first team to tour Pakistan whenever this will happen, the security is quite improved in recent times and I think Pakistan will provide them 5 star security anyway and a small series like 3 ODI-1 t20 will be a good start. Pakistan needs friends like Sri Lanka as PAK helped them during the darker times in 90's.

  • on May 22, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    yeh we like to play in pakistan but they have to provide 100% security. of course pakistan is a friendly nation.

  • on May 22, 2014, 16:00 GMT

    Malepas you are right. They were friends always and hope to see them always together. We appreciate Sri Lanka Cricket board for their concern and hope to see them once again in Pakistan.. We love you Sri Lanka... Salute Sri Lankan Cricket Board

  • on May 22, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    SL is always 2nd favorite team for Pakistani supporters and same way Sri Lankans support Pakistan against any time except home country. The have been called friendly foes on cricket grounds. It was a dark day in the history of Pakistan when the unfortunate incident of attack happened on their soil. Now, if there is any country that can come to Pakistan's rescue, its none other than SL. Both boards should sit together and plan a short tour or even a single match. That would do a lot good for the game of cricket in this region.

  • t20cric on May 22, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    I always knew SL would be the first team to tour Pakistan whenever they have adequate security. I hope this tour actually happens and if it does then I think Sethi would deserve a long uninterrupted run as PCB chairman. He is making a lot of promises like 6 tours with INdia in next 8 years as well as hosting SL in Pakistan.

  • on May 22, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    Pakistan cricket and Srilankan cricket have stood beside each other during tough times. It would be great if Srilankan would come to play in Pakistan as it would prove that there are no more security issues in Pakistan. Hope they don't bail out this time tough

  • on May 22, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    full series is not possible at the moment. Pakistan are scheduled to play a lot of cricket later this year till world cup. but a small series like t20 series will be a good start. SL have always supported paksitan and like wise Paksitan did. But 1 st thing pak need is to get their administration in order. And then plan this series. providing SL Maximum security like head of states.

  • on May 22, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    Thanks Amila K, For giving us a friendly nation ,,,, yes we have a lot of respect for SL nation too ,,,, and Pakistan should gave SL cricket team a fool proof security ,,, and you can't immagine how much we,ll be happy when cricket will restart in our country ,,,,

  • on May 22, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    The brightest aspect in international cricket at the moment is the friendly relations b/w Pakistan and Sri Lanka. These two have been supporting each other for decade and I think this is high time that Sri Lanka extend it's support for Pakistan and visit for a short tour just to let others know that Pakistan is certainly a safe place for cricket. Now first Pakistan government must design a security plan and then discuss it with Sri Lankan Government. Respect for Sri Lanka and all the best to Pakistan!

  • on May 22, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    After the shooting incident we cant depend on Pak security to protect our players if a same thing happen again, SL Military should handle team security in Pak