Sri Lanka Greenlights Pakistan Tour After 2009 Attack
After the extremely successful world X series was conducted in Pakistan and revived the spirit of International cricket, we now have another news to rejoice over. The Sri Lankan team is finally ready to return to Pakistan. The team which regularly played matches with Pakistan on its turf was attacked in 2009 in Pakistan.
The deadly attack in which 12 gunmen fired AK-47s, hand grenades, and rocket-propelled grenades at the Sri-Lankan team bus and convoy forever changed the face of international cricket in Pakistan. This horrendous attack injured six cricketers while six policemen and two civilians lost their lives.
Soon after this attack, international teams began to drop out of their scheduled tours to Pakistan citing security reasons. This lead to a long dry spell in cricket in Pakistan as not international teams agreed to come and play in Pakistan and thus Pakistan had to play all matches out of state. Now the team which was in the eye of the storm has decided to take the first step in letting the world know that it is okay to come and play in Pakistan.
Sri Lanka has agreed to return to the place where they once faced such horrors giving other teams the initiative and bravado to do the same. The team is all set to participate in a T20 international in Lahore at the end of the month.
This momentous decision was unanimous among the members of the executive committee while some players still had their reservations about playing in Pakistan.
The first two T20 fixtures between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will go ahead as planned in Abu Dhabi but the third is now confirmed for Lahore’s Gadaffi Stadium.
The major support for this decision came from Sri Lankan Cricket chief Sumathipal who implored the other teams to end their boycott of this cricket loving nation. He compared Pakistani’s situation to that of Sri Lanka saying that many test nations had boycotted Sri Lanka too when the Tamil separatist conflict was going on but Pakistan still decided to tour the country.
Pakistan has come a long way and will be able to ensure the safety of all its players this time around. Let’s hope that this is finally the thing that puts Pakistani cricket back on the world map.