Playing Test Championship in Pakistan depends on availability of senior players: SLC

Sri Lanka Cricket said it will take a call on playing the World Test Championship in Pakistan in December based on the availability of the senior players.

Secretary General of Sri Lankan Cricket Board Mohan De Silva (c) had visited National Stadium with Pakistani officials to review security assessments in Karachi.   -  AP

Satisfied with the security of the ongoing limited-overs tour of Pakistan, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Tuesday said it will take a call on playing the World Test Championship scheduled to be held here in December based on the availability of its senior players.

The Sri Lankan team began its tour of Pakistan last week after 10 of its main players refused to travel, citing security concerns.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had initially invited SLC to play two Tests of the ICC Test Championship in Karachi and Lahore but the Islanders instead opted to play a limited-overs series of three ODIs and as many Twenty20 matches.

The PCB has now invited the SLC to play matches of the ICC Test Championship in Pakistan in December.

“The security for this series has been top notch and we have no complaints. But for the Tests we have to think because we are playing the World Test Championship and if three or four players who are in the Test team refuse to come, we will then have to see and take a call,” SLC President Shammi de Silva told reporters.

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Sri Lanka Sports Minister Harin Fernando and the a top-level delegation of SLC including President de Silva and Secretary Mohan de Silva are currently in Pakistan to assess the security for their team.

The Sports Minister said the Sri Lankan players who have travelled to Pakistan can vouch for the security.

“We have to respect their (the Lankan players, who refused to travel) decisions. But the players who have come on the tour have played inside and out of national team and they could put pressure on the senior players,” Fernando said.

“We initially wanted to play just three T20 matches in Pakistan but then we felt we need to support Pakistan more. We wanted to go ahead with the tour because the team has to move on,” he added.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said it was important that the game wins over any threats or terrorism.

“We’ve seen this in Christchurch recently and that was terrible. There were incidents in Sri Lanka but this can happen anywhere in the world. The main thing is that the security and safety of the players cannot be compromised anywhere,” he said.

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