Pakistan safe to host sporting events, says Sri Lanka minister

February 21st, 2009 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Feb 21 (IANS) Sri Lankan Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge Saturday said that Pakistan was a safe place to host sporting events.

Loguke, who is on a visit here on the invitation of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), said the Sri Lankan government had trusted Pakistan as far as the security of the cricket team concerned.

“We came here trusting that there will be no security problems. Now that we are playing here (Pakistan), nobody can say that we can’t tour this country because of security problems,” added the minister.

Sri Lanka’s cricket team is currently in Pakistan on a two-match Test series. It is its second tour of Pakistan since January when it played a five-match one-day series.

Lokuge said that the entire South Asian region was safe for sporting events.

“Bomb blasts can happen anywhere in the world. They also happen in our countries but sportsmen are never a target,” he said.

He was confident that the four South Asian test-playing nations - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - will successfully host the World Cup in 2011.

The minister said that Sri Lanka was confident that it will successfully host the ICC Champions Trophy later this year.

“They (ICC) wanted to take the tournament to Dubai but we said that since Sri Lanka is the alternate venue it should be hosted by us. Now the Champions Trophy will be held in Sri Lanka and it will be confirmed after sorting out details of the weather conditions there,” he said.

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