The Sri Lankan cricket board says it has been warned about a possible terrorist threat during its planned tour of Pakistan and called for a reassessment of the security situation before play starts in two weeks.
The SLC said in a statement on Wednesday that the Sri Lankan 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.”
The tour is set to start on September 27 with a one-day international in Karachi. Ten of Sri Lanka’s top players, including Twenty20 captain Lasith Malinga and one-day international skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, have already pulled out of the limited-overs tour because of security concerns.
Pakistan has not hosted a test match since Sri Lanka’s team bus was attacked by terrorists in 2009. Eight people were killed during the ambush and several Sri Lankan players were also injured.
The upcoming tour was originally set to begin with test matches, but the schedule was flipped after discussions between the heads of the two cricket boards. The two-test series is now scheduled for December.
Karachi is set to host three one-day internationals while three Twenty20s will be played at Lahore on October 5, 7 and 9.
The Pakistan Cricket Board said it has not received any information about a terrorist threat.
“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,” it said in a statement.
A high-level SLC security delegation visited both cities last month and was satisfied with the security arrangements made by the PCB for the visiting team.
Over the past three years, Pakistan has successfully hosted Zimbabwe, the West Indies, Sri Lanka, and a World XI for limited-overs matches amid intense security as it tries to win back confidence of foreign teams to restart fully fledged international cricket at home.