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Sri Lanka vows to go ahead with Pakistan tour

25 Octobre 2017

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president has insisted that the team will play in Lahore despite the pullout of some key players for the lone T20 match.

Legendary batsman Javed Miandad on Wednesday said Sri Lankan team's upcoming tour to Lahore for the last T20 gives a clear message to the world that Pakistan has come out victorious from the menace of terrorism as global cricket returns to the country.

A delegation from Sri Lanka will visit Lahore on Wednesday to inspect the security arrangements for the solitary T20 match scheduled for October 29 before giving final clearance for Sri Lanka's tour to Pakistan. The board has played down speculation in local media that coach Nic Pothas and team physiotherapist Nirmalan Dhanabalasingham will also not travel to Pakistan. "We are going to be in Pakistan for just over a day, but it is very important for us to go there and revive global cricket in South Asia".

It will be Sri Lanka's first visit to Pakistan since 2009 when gunmen opened fire on their squad bus, killing eight people and injuring seven visiting team members and support staff.

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Two security experts from Sri Lanka cricket are scheduled to visit Lahore to make an assessment of the security arrangements.

"Even if they are coming for just one match but its significance is enormous because they were the ones who came under attack and if their board and government shows confidence in us to send their team, it will send a positive message to other boards as well", a senior PCB official said. Lakmal and Kapugedara survived the 2009 attack.

No top worldwide side has played in Pakistan since the attack.

On Saturday Sri Lanka made 28-year-old all-rounder Thisara Perera the captain of the T20 squad. The smooth execution of the Pakistan Super League final and the World XI Tour of Pakistan added to Pakistan's cause of bringing cricket back to the country. The World XI series was part of Pakistani efforts to bring global cricket back to the country.