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Sri Lanka Tour Of Pakistan In Jeopardy After ‘Terrorist Threat’

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Sri Lanka Cricket says it has received terror attack warning ahead of Pakistan tour

Sri Lanka Cricket has claimed it has received warnings that its national team could be the target of a terror attack during an upcoming tour of Pakistan.

The board said the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s Office had advised it to “reassess the situation” after it received “reliable information of a possible terrorist threat” against the national squad ahead of the six-match limited-overs tour.

Is the tour now in jeopardy?

Sri Lanka stopped short of calling off the tour but said a reassessment of the security situation would be sought from Sri Lankan government authorities.

The Sri Lanka team was the victim of a malicious militant attack during a Test match in Lahore on March 2009. Six Sri Lankan players were injured when gunmen attacked their bus while six Pakistan policemen and two civilians were killed.

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Sri Lanka’s proposed tour of Pakistan

The tour is set to start on 27 September with a one-day international in Karachi. Ten of Sri Lanka’s top players, including the Twenty-20 captain, Lasith Malinga, and one-day international captain, Dimuth Karunaratne, have already pulled out of the limited-overs tour because of security concerns.

The tour was originally set to begin with Test matches but the schedule was flipped after discussions between the heads of the two cricket boards. The two-Test series is now scheduled for December if the tour goes ahead as planned.

Karachi is set to host three one-day internationals while three Twenty20s will be played at Lahore on 5, 7 and 9 October. The Pakistan Cricket Board said it has not received any information about a terrorist threat.

The PCB reiterates its commitment to provide complete safety and security to the SL side and in this relation will continue to work with the SLC,” it said in a statement.

A high-level SLC security delegation visited both cities last month and was satisfied with the security arrangements made by the PCB for the visiting team.

Over the past three years, Pakistan has successfully hosted Zimbabwe, West Indies, Sri Lanka, and a World XI for limited-overs matches amid intense security as it tries to win back the confidence of foreign teams to restart fully-fledged international cricket at home.

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Faisal Rahat

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