PCB happy after Sri Lanka clears cricket tour

December 26th, 2008 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Dec 26 (IANS) Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials Friday heaved a sigh of relief when the Sri Lankan government cleared its cricket team’s proposed tour of Pakistan.A PCB official told IANS that the board was extremely pleased with Sri Lanka’s decision to go ahead with the tour of Pakistan in Jan-Feb next year.

“Sri Lanka has taken a very positive decision and we are thankful to their government for clearing the tour,” said the official.

Sri Lanka Friday announced that its cricketers will most likely be visiting Pakistan from Jan 20 to Feb 25. Sri Lanka will be filling in for India, which had cancelled its tour of Pakistan over last month’s terror attacks in Mumbai.

It is expected that Sri Lanka, which will come to Pakistan soon after finishing its ongoing tour of Bangladesh and will play three Tests and five one-dayers during the hurriedly-arranged tour.

The tour was lined up earlier this month after discussions between top officials of PCB and the interim committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) that was headed by Arjuna Ranatunga, the former Sri Lanka captain. But after the interim committee was disbanded by the country’s sports minister, doubts were raised whether the tour will be allowed to go ahead.

However, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollgama announced Friday that the tour has been cleared following a meeting with his country’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Bogollagama also discussed the issue with Minister of Sports Gamini Lokuge. Pakistan involved diplomatic channels to confirm the home series and the country’s High Commissioner Fazal-Ur-Rahman Kazi spoke to Bogollagama over the issue.

Pakistan has not played any Tests in 2008 and its cricketers are starved of international action as most of the world’s top teams have opted to stay away from the country because of security apprehensions.

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