Sri Lanka to host World XI for a charity match

Vincent De Villiers
Agosto 14, 2017

While security concerns are valid and shouldn't be taken lightly, the fact that the Pakistan Super League was held in the country, Zimbabwe have toured them and ICC are themselves pushing for global cricket to return to the country shows that it is safe for the players to play.

Since that 2009 attack, Zimbabwe have been the only full worldwide side to tour Pakistan, playing five limited-overs games in Lahore in 2015. An SLC release said "Sri Lanka will play at least one of the three T20s in Lahore, in September", so long as "the logistical and operational plans fall in place".

In what will come as a huge boost for those hoping to see worldwide cricket return to Pakistan, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) development committee chairman Thilanga Sumathipala said that Sri Lanka will no issues in traveling to Pakistan and playing at least a solitary T20I in Lahore.

"Cricket is a game of change, chance and chase" Sumathipala said. The dates of the series haven't been announced yet but it's likely to take place in September. World cricket is in the hands of the unity of Asia. This is the spirit of the Asian Cricket Council.

"We are still in the process of procuring names from the other countries from which the final 13 will be picked".

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"I am keen to take my team to Pakistan".

"We have three Twenty20 games against Pakistan in September and we would like to play at least one in Lahore".

Speaking at the Asian Cricket Council's annual general meeting in Colombo, Sumathipala added: "We have had our security experts visit and make an assessment, and things look positive with things improving all over the country and especially Lahore being cleared".

This comes as a major boost to Pakistan, who are working hard to bring back global cricket to the country.

"I call upon each one of you as members to play your role and give Pakistan the security of your support". The status of that World XI tour - now scheduled to be played between September 10 and 16 - is still uncertain, and dependent on the political situation in Lahore in September. With both boards and various governments keen for the match to be played in Lahore, player protestations - if there are any - may not be enough to halt that political will. "There is always risk - there were two attacks in London during the Champions trophy, but cricket continued under the security assurances if the ICC, so likewise we too must be as accommodating and understanding as possible with our members and extend our fullest support to them as the cricketing family of Asia".

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