Sri Lanka’s forthcoming tour of Pakistan has been thrown into doubt after Sri Lanka’s government is said to have received news of a “possible terrorist threat on the Sri Lanka team”.
The team was scheduled to leave for the tour in less than two weeks, but the tour now hinges on a “reassessment of the security situation in Pakistan”. One security assessment – described as “meticulous” by an SLC official – had already been conducted, with the board formerly convinced that the tour was safe. But this new information about a specific threat on the team has sparked fresh fears.
“Sri Lanka Cricket today 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,” a board release said.
“The decision was taken following a warning SLC received from the Prime Minister’s office, sent via the Ministry of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports.
“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.”
The new information had been received on Tuesday evening by SLC, who had named their ODI at T20 squads for the tour late in the afternoon. With 10 frontline players already having refused to tour Pakistan, this new perceived threat may create apprehension among even the players who have agreed to travel.
Cricket in Pakistan came to a halt in 2009, after the Sri Lanka team was attacked by gunmen on the way to the ground in Lahore.
The first match of the tour was set to be played on September 27 in Karachi.