The Pakistan Cricket Board is not willing to bear the expenses of hosting another home series in the United Arab Emirates and wants Sri Lanka Cricket to share the financial burden if it decides not to tour Pakistan for the two-Test rubber in December.
After successfully hosting Sri Lanka for a limited over series in Karachi and Lahore in September-October, the Pakistan Cricket Board has been pushing the Sri Lankans to send their team for the two ICC Test Championship matches as well in December.
“PCB Chairman, Ehsan Mani, and CEO, Wasim Khan who are in Dubai for the ICC board meetings have apparently conveyed to Sri Lankan officials that if they insist on playing the test series in UAE, they should bear the expenses,” a reliable source said.
“The PCB has decided to take a stance that even after convincing the ICC and Sri Lankan board officials that they can properly manage all security arrangements in Pakistan, if the Sri Lankan board still insists on having the series in UAE it will have to pay or share the expenses of hosting the series,” the source said.
Sri Lanka Cricket chief Shammi Silva, who was in Pakistan for the recent white ball series, had said after returning home that the visiting players and officials were confined to their team hotel due to security arrangements and couldn’t roam around freely. “Three days stuck in your hotel even I got fed-up,” he told media.
He also made it clear that the Sri Lankan board would consult its players and team officials on whether they would be willing to tour Pakistan for the Test series before reaching a final decision. He noted that a team has to stay for a longer duration to play a Test series.
Pakistan has not hosted a home test series since March 2009 when militants had attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, leaving at least six Pakistani policemen dead and others wounded.
Pakistan has since hosted all its Test series in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah but Wasim Khan recently said in a television interview that the board now felt it was just not cost-effective to host matches away from home.
The new leadership in the PCB, fully supported by Prime Minister Imran Khan, now feels that time has come to take a strong stance on teams refusing to play in Pakistan and this new policy could be tested for the Test series against Sri Lanka.
“This is necessary since Pakistan is also due to host Bangladesh for a Test series in January,” the source said.
The PCB has already said it will be hosting the entire fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League in Pakistan and the tournament will not be split between UAE and Pakistan.