Sri Lanka not ignoring Pakistan, says Duleep Mendis

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Colombo, Jan 5 (ANI): The Chief Executive of the Sri Lankan cricket board, Duleep Mendis, has ruled out the impression that Sri Lanka together with India is ignoring Pakistan to ensure a series with India.

No final talk with Pakistan was held on the schedule of the tour of Pakistan; Geo News quoted Duleep Mendis, as saying.

Earlier, Mendis had promised the Chief Operating Officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Saleem Altaf, that he would finalise the schedule by Sunday, but the Sri Lankan cricket board failed to give a reply to the PCB on Sunday.

Mendis said it might take a few more days to finalize the schedule, because Sri Lankan cricket officials are considering other options.

However, he confirmed that Sri Lanka and India are negotiating a one-day series between the two countries in the third week of February.

Sri Lanka is planning to host at home five-ODI series against India after splitting their proposed tour of Pakistan.

Under the plan, Sri Lanka will visit Pakistan for the limited-overs leg of their tour later this month, return home for India's visit and head back to Pakistan to play three Tests.

"I have told Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Duleep Mendis to look at the option of touring Pakistan first for five ODIs and a Twenty20 match," Gamini Lokuge, the Sri Lanka Sports Minister, said.

"The team will then return to Colombo to play a five-match ODI series with India. We will then return to Pakistan for three Tests," The News quoted Lokuge, as saying further.

Lokuge did not, however, provide a detailed itinerary.

The Sports Minister had already confirmed talks with the BCCI and said the schedule was being finalised. India had toured Sri Lanka last year for three Tests and five ODIs. (ANI)

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