After Zimbabwe series, confident Pak cricket board plans to invite Sri Lanka

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Lahore, May 28: Managing to impress the visiting Zimbabwe cricket team with its security arrangements, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is now targeting a tour by the Sri Lankan outfit sometime in April next year. [Zimbabwe Cricket chairman urges other countries to play in Pakistan, says it's safe]

A well-informed source in the Pakistan Cricket Board told PTI that the PCB had managed to convince the head of the Sri Lankan cricket interim committee, Siddhart Wettimuny to visit Lahore for the last one-day international against Zimbabwe this Sunday. [Pak ready for India series in December, says PCB chief Shahryar Khan]

Pakistan

"The PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan plans to hold talks with Wettimuny on the possibility of Sri Lankan sending its team for a series in April next year," the source said.

"Pakistan has already got positives vibes from Sri Lanka and they are hopeful they will host another international side next year," the source added.

Test teams stopped touring Pakistan in March, 2009 when militants attacked the Lankan team in Lahore, in which six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed and some visiting players wounded. Since that horrific incident, Test teams had stopped touring Pakistan until Cricket Zimbabwe agreed earlier this month to send its team for a limited-overs series in Lahore.

According to the man in charge of supervising the security details for the visiting teams, the security system installed to safeguard Zimbabwe surpasses the protocol given to even the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan.

According to the PCB's Senior General Manager Vigilance Muhammad Azam Khan, the board and Punjab government have ensured watertight security for Zimbabwe and it has already had a positive impact internationally.

Azam said the best security mechanism was being provided to the touring side with nothing left to chance. All Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) are involved in making sure nothing goes wrong anywhere whether it is the stadium, hotel or anywhere else," said Azam.

"Lahore is on high alert because even a small incident can take us back to square one," he added. Azam said that for the series to be made possible there was great coordination between all security agencies. The threats were assessed and in this entire process, all prime intelligence agencies in the country were taken on board to get their approval before giving the final go ahead for the series.

PTI

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