Pakistan awaits Sri Lanka series itinerary

January 5th, 2009 - 11:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 5 (IANS) Pakistan still remains uncertain about the dates and number of matches it will host against Sri Lanka this season, as cricket board officials in that country are yet to finalise the schedule of the hurriedly-arranged tour.A senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said Monday they were yet to receive the series itinerary from the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) that had promised to send the schedule Sunday.

Saleem Altaf, PCB’s chief operating officer, told IANS that he was expecting some news over the issue Tuesday.

Pakistan lined up the series against Sri Lanka last month after India cancelled its tour following tense relations between the two neighbours over the Nov 26 terror attacks in Mumbai.

Sri Lanka was initially expected to land in Pakistan Jan 20 to play three Tests and five one-dayers but the two boards failed to finalise the itinerary.

Local media reports speculated Monday that the SLC was dilly-dallying over the issue as it first wanted to confirme an ODI series against India before giving the go-ahead to the Pakistan tour.

However, SLC chief Duleep Mendis has denied that Sri Lanka was ignoring Pakistan to ensure a series with India.

Mendis, a former Sri Lanka Test cricketer, said it might take a few more days to finalise the schedule because the SLC was currently considering other options.

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 five-match ODI series against India after splitting its 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 later in February.

Altaf, however, said he has no such information. “What we know is that Sri Lanka will soon send the itinerary for its team’s tour of Pakistan,” he said.

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