Security concerns dash hopes for revival of Int’l cricket in Pakistan

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A number of important Sri Lankan cricket players’ decision to pull out of the planned Pakistan tour in September has dashed hopes of a complete revival of international cricket in Pakistan. The clouds of doubt over the series thickened after the Sri Lankan board decided to reassess security situation in Pakistan after it received warning of attacks from their government authorities.

The series hit its first snag when ten Sri Lankan players, including T20 skipper Lasith Malinga and former captains Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera, pulled out of the tour citing security concerns. Pakistan Cricket Board had made it clear that the participation or non-participation of senior players did not matter as the Sri Lankan team is nevertheless arriving for a complete tour. However, the terrorism threats cast serious doubts on the possibility of the series.

Ten years since the ominous terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, terror continues to haunt cricket in Pakistan, which is home to one of the largest cricket fan bases in the world. Earlier, a Sri Lankan delegation had reviewed security arrangements in Pakistan and found them up to the mark.

There was, nevertheless, widespread disappointment over the Sri Lankan cricket players’ decision to give the Pakistan tour a miss.

Veteran players, Javed Miandad and Ramiz Raja also expressed their disappointment over the development.

Pakistan Cricket Board responded by saying they are not privy to any safety threats to the Sri Lankan team.

Minister of Science and Technology, Fawad Hussain Chaudry, however saw a ‘foreign’ hand behind the entire issue.

 The question that prods minds of thousands of Pakistani cricket fans remain unanswered; will we ever see a full revival of international cricket in the country. There isn’t much optimism, as this editorial in Express Tribune believes the day may not be too near.

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