The international cricket may finally return to Pakistan. The good news came through after Sri Lankan Cricket Board confirmed a tour to Pakistan in September. The tour will come after a gap of 8 years when the Sri Lankan came under attack.
Security Assessment for Return of International Cricket
The Chief of the Sri Lankan Cricket has said that the security experts from Sri Lanka had a security assessment. In this evaluation, they had given security clearance for Sri Lankan team to play cricket in the country. Out of the 3 T20 matches, one will be played in Lahore. The tragic incident of the 2009 attack on Sri Lankan cricket team also took place in Lahore. The attack resulted in 8 people losing their lives.
The Chief further added that the security experts from Sri Lanka see an overall improvement in the security situation. They have given security clearance to play a match in Lahore.
Early Attempts to Revive International Cricket in Pakistan
Pakistan has been trying hard to revive international cricket in the country. The only tour of the Zimbabwean team in 2015 had five limited over matches played. Pakistani cricket team plays all its international matches outside the country in UAE.
The Final of PSL 2 in Lahore
Besides the extraordinary efforts by the government and military in the country, PSL 2 final had a significant impact. The PSL 2 final featured many foreign players playing in Lahore. It gave a strong message to the world of Pakistan’s desire to organize international sporting events. The final was one step closer to return of international cricket in Pakistan.
Sumathipala Asks Cricket Nations to Support Pakistan
The Chief of Sri Lankan cricket team, while addressing Asian Cricket Council, has asked cricketing nations to end the isolation of Pakistan cricket.
He has urged other countries to play with Pakistan. Recalling Sri Lanka’s war against Tamil separatists, he said that top test nations did not like to play in his country in the mid-1990s.
Furthermore, he stated that Sri Lanka was suffering from terrorism at that point. However, he said that Pakistan and India offered their support to Sri Lanka. He gave a direct reference to the recent attacks in London. The Chief said that despite attacks in London, the ICC Champions Trophy continued under the security assurances provided by ICC.
Similarly, the Chief has quoted newly elected Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Najam Sethi that PCB has arranged for latest surveillance equipment. Furthermore, the security apparatus is already making the Pakistani cities safer.
Pakistan’s recent win of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 over India gives the team a big boost of confidence. A team written off by many after their first defeat against India bounced back to win the trophy. Cricket lovers in Pakistan want to see their cricketing heroes play at their home ground.
NA-120 By-Elections and Stretched Security Resources
The recent Nawaz Sharif disqualification has led to a re-election on NA-120. The candidates will contest the election on 17th September for this hotly contested seat in Lahore. Therefore, it will add additional burden to the security resources available for the Sri Lankan team. However, after meetings with Punjab’s CM, PCB Chairman Najam Sethi is sure that this series will take place. The provincial government has vowed to give full support in safely organizing this series.