Sri Lanka’s proposed cricket tour to Pakistan remained on hold as Sri Lanka Cricket sought clearance from the government before committing itself further.
Sri Lanka Cricket sources stated that the tour has not been finalized yet as there were a few things that needed to be cleared before it could take place.
It is learnt that Sri Lanka has received two sets of itineraries from the Pakistan Cricket Board which they will have to study and put it before the Executive Committee to finalise.
The tour is scheduled to take place in September-October. One set is for the ODI and T20I series to be played in Pakistan and the other for the two Tests which will be part of the ICC World Test Championship to be played in the UAE.
The UAE has been Pakistan’s home base since international cricket teams stopped touring that country following a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan tour bus in 2009.
Quite recently Sri Lanka sent a four-member delegation headed by SLC secretary Mohan de Silva to study and report on the security situation in Pakistan.
The Sri Lankan delegation visited the grounds and hotels where the teams will stay in Karachi and Lahore besides meeting the board, police and security officials.
According to SLC sources the report has been positive. Although a discussion was held on the report it was not tabled at the ExCo meeting for final approval.
SLC are hopeful that a final decision on the tour will be reached by next week. Meanwhile SLC sources stated that former Sri Lanka cricket team head coach Chandika Hathurusingha who was given 14 days to respond to a charge sheet issued by SLC has done so and that it will be taken up at the next ExCo meeting.
SLC decided to terminate the services of Hathurusingha following Sri Lanka’s failure to reach the semi-finals of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
He was in charge of the Sri Lankan team when they beat Bangladesh 3-0 at home in the ODI series but has been replaced by fast bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake as interim coach for the ongoing series against New Zealand.
SLC sources stated that although they have looked at the availability of coaches around the world to replace Hathurusingha, no final decision will be made until the ExCo decides on the outcome of Hathurusingha’s future with them.
Hathurusingha who was appointed head coach of the national cricket team in December 2017 has a contract that runs until December 2020.