International Cricket

Sri Lanka turn down Pakistan’s invitation

Sri Lanka Cricket have turned down an invitation by Pakistan to return to the troubled nation, saying security was still a problem two years after its players were attacked there.

“We are not going to send our team to Pakistan,” Sri Lanka Cricket chairman DS de Silva said. “I have asked the secretary to inform the Pakistan Cricket Board today (Tuesday) of the decision.

“We have instead requested Pakistan to host the matches in Colombo or at a neutral venue like Dubai or Abu Dhabi,” he said.

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced at the weekend that they had invited Sri Lanka to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 game in a series proposed for October.

“The circumstances, with regards to security, don’t allow us to play matches there. Even the ICC (International Cricket Council) has not given us security clearance,” de Silva said.

Sri Lanka ex-skipper Mahela Jayawardene told the London-based Guardian newspaper yesterday that he still carries scars from the attack in Lahore in which militants shot at the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009.

Eight people were killed and seven Sri Lankan players were wounded, including their assistant coach.

“I still get flashbacks,” Jayawardene told the Guardian. “At first, the guys were saying, ‘Why would anyone let off crackers at eight in the morning?’ But then someone shouted: ‘No, they’re shooting at us, get down’.”

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