Pakistan’s cricket authorities remained on tenterhooks on Thursday awaiting word from Cricket Sri Lanka on the upcoming ODI and T20 Internationals series.
Sources close to the Board told PTI that till Thursday the Sri Lankan cricket authorities had not shared any information with the PCB on their Prime Minister’s Office having received reliable information of a possible terrorist threat on the national team.
“The PCB is waiting for some response on the tour and unless intelligence is shared what can the PCB say how reliable it is. Yes, there have been background contacts but nothing definite has come out of it yet,” a source said.
The PCB had confirmed it would be hosting the Sri Lankan team for the series from September 25 even after SLC announced that 10 of its main players, including ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne and T20 skipper Lasith Malinga, have pulled out due to security concerns.
But hours after announcing the ODI and T20 squads for the Pakistan tour, the Sri Lankan board came out with a statement, saying it was reassessing the security situation in Pakistan ahead of the team’s scheduled departure.
The reassessment was based on a warning the SLC received from the Prime Minister’s Office, sent via the Ministry of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports.
Sri Lanka are due to play three ODIs in Karachi, followed by as many T20Is in Lahore between September 27 and October 9 and it will be the first time after 2009 that Pakistan would be hosting a top tier team for such a long period.
Another source aware of developments in the PCB said the high-ups were concerned and a bit surprised at the Sri Lankans not having shared any information as yet on the possible threat.
Pakistan is banking on the tour by Sri Lanka to also convince foreign players to come and play the entire fifth season of PSL.
ICC Women’s Championship
Pakistan women’s team tour to India as a part of the ICC Women’s Championship is likely to be postponed as the Indian board is yet to receive any government directive with regards to holding the series in November.
As a part of the championship, Indian women’s team are required to host their Pakistani counterparts in a three-match ODI series.
Given the prevailing circumstances between the two nations, the Indian cricket board will wait for a government’s directive as they have already informed the matter much in advance.
“We are still waiting for an answer as the Indian board has to host the women’s series by November this year. It appears as if this series could also end up being cancelled as it doesn’t appear India is willing to host the Pakistan women’s team,” a PCB official said.
However BCCI on its part maintains that they had sought approval for the tour and they can do very little unless there is green light from the central government.
“We can only take the matter forward once we hear from the government. We all know, a bilateral series against Pakistan is an issue that cannot be unilaterally by BCCI. It will follow the instructions from the government,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
As per PCB sources, the ICC has told them to wait as the window to host Pakistan women’s team was between July and November.
In case, India doesn’t host Pakistan, PCB wants ICC to award them points for the series. In that case, BCCI is almost certain to contest their claims on grounds that organization is beyond their control at the moment.
Couple of years back, the BCCI had refused to send its women team to Pakistan due to security concerns. However refusal to play Pakistan on a neutral venue led to them being docked points.