Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board’s chief Thilanga Sumathipala is confident that the players will come around and the Lankan board will be able to send a full strength team to Lahore for a T20 International once the security clearance is obtained. As many as 40 Lankan players handed a letter to the board indicating they don’t wish to travel to Lahore for the last T-20 of the series set to take place on October 29th.
Sumathipala said, “The players have made an appeal to SLC asking for a change of venue for the third T20I. We will discuss the issue on Monday at an Executive Committee meeting. I can understand their concerns. It is our responsibility to assess the situation and then take a decision.The ICC is sending down match officials and have indicated that there’s no issue with security. The PCB has promised to give security that will be given to a Head of State. We are sending another specialist to assess the situation on our own and will rely on the government’s advice on the security situation. If everything is clear, I am sure we will be able to send our best team”. He then added, “We will pick the squad for all three T20s. There can’t be one team playing in UAE and another playing in Lahore. The players should not pick and choose venues. The PCB is making every effort to play the game. We have had our own bad experiences due to terrorism but most cricket teams supported us in time of need. The cricket world needs to support Pakistan. Once we finish the Ex-Co meeting on Monday, I intend to speak to the President, Prime Minister and Sports Minister to get their advice. I am sure everything will be taken care of.
Pakistan lost their license to host International cricket when the Sri Lankan team bus came under a terrorist attack on their way to the third day’s play of the second Test match in Lahore in 2009. Lankan batsman Thilan Samaraweera & other players were also in danger of life in that incident. Despite an international T-20 series in Lahore earlier this year, PCB still hasn’t got clearance to host an international match.