PCB to request Zardari to save home series against Sri Lanka

December 24th, 2008 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Dec 24 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is considering requesting President Asif Ali Zardari to help save the proposed home series against Sri Lanka in January-February next year.A source in the PCB told IANS Wednesday that senior board officials are concerned over reports coming from Sri Lanka that the cricket officials there are reconsidering the series against Pakistan after the sacking of Sri Lanka Cricket’s interim committee chief Arjuna Ranatunga.

It was Ranatunga who agreed to playing three Tests and five one-dayers against Pakistan during a tour that was supposed to get underway from Jan 19. The series was being arranged by Pakistan after Indian cancelled its tour of Pakistan in the wake of last month’s terror attacks in Mumbai.

According to reports coming from Colombo, Sri Lanka’s sports minister Gamini Lokuge is planning to hold discussions with the country’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa and wait for word from the foreign ministry regarding the tour of Pakistan.

Sources in the PCB said that there is a strong possibility that the board chairman Ijaz Butt will request Zardari to talk to his Sri Lanka counterpart to help save the series. Zardari is PCB’s chief patron and is regarded as a big cricket fan.

The board’s top brass is also considering involving diplomatic channels to ensure that Sri Lanka visits Pakistan and play in what is now a much-awaited series here.

Pakistan was left without a single Test in 2008 after Australia cancelled its tour of the country in March-April this year over security apprehensions. It suffered another setback later in the year when the International Cricket Council (ICC) postponed the eight-nation ICC Champions Trophy after five of the competing teams refused to travel to the country because of safety fears.

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