x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Sri Lanka's Pakistan tour gets go ahead

Sri Lanka's president has given the green light for the national team to tour Pakistan in place of India next month.

Sri Lanka's president has given the green light for the national team to tour Pakistan in place of India next month. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama announced the decision to go ahead after talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse, who sanctioned the national team's tour from Jan 20 to Feb 25. "Minister Bogollagama is of the view that sport is an effective means of promoting connectivity between nations and thereby enhancing friendship and mutual goodwill between countries," the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said in a statement.

Last week Sri Lanka Cricket said they agreed to take India's place and asked the hosts to scrap two Twenty20 games and turn them into one day matches. Sri Lanka are likely to play Test matches in Karachi, Lahore and Multan, while Karachi would also host the two proposed one-day international (ODI). The remaining ODI would likely be played in Lahore. Pakistan last played a Test match in December last year, against India in Bangalore.

India called off their tour of Pakistan after New Delhi refused to grant the team permission to travel across the border in the wake of last month's attacks on Mumbai, which India has blamed on Pakistan-based militants. The Pakistan Cricket Board said it was set to lose at least US$25 million (Dh91.99m) as a result of the cancellation but would recover some of the money by hosting Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka are currently playing a Test series in Bangladesh. *AFP