Sri Lanka government has warned its cricket body of a 'possible terrorist threat' over its Pakistan tour. The Sri Lanka Cricket was advised to take extreme care and reassess the security situation in Pakistan by the government. The information was communicated from the Prime Minister's Office. Following this Sri Lanka Cricket sought helpin reassessing the security situation.
Sri Lanka Cricket on Wednesday sought the assistance of the Sri Lankan government to conduct a ‘Reassessment’ of the security situation in Pakistan ahead of the National Team’s planned tour to Pakistan. The decision was taken following a warning, the SLC received from the Prime Minister’s Office, sent via the Ministry of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports. Accordingly, the warning highlights that the 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.
Sri Lanka on Tuesday, September 10, rejected Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain’s statement claiming Indian pressure behind 10 Sri Lankan cricketers opting out of the upcoming Pakistan tour. The island nation maintained its stand that the players opted out purely based on the 2009 terror attack on Sri Lankan players in Pakistan. On Monday, September 9, 10 Sri Lankan cricketers namely Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne opted out of the upcoming tour of Pakistan.
Sri Lanka is set to visit Pakistan after nearly two years to play three ODI and three T20 matches from September 27 to October 19. The Sri Lankan cricket board in a meeting with the players informed them about the security arrangements and gave them the freedom to decide on their participation for the upcoming tour. However, 10 Sri Lankan players decided to opt-out of the tour of Pakistan.
In 2009, the Sri Lankan cricket team on its way to Gadaffi Cricket Stadium for a test match with Pakistan, was attacked by terrorists in which eight people were dead, the incident left seven Sri Lankan players and staff injured. After the incident, several international teams have refused to visit Pakistan until Sri Lanka decided to return in October 2017 for a T20 match in Lahore.