Pakistan cricket authorities on Thursday reacted swiftly to the expected cancellation of the Indian team's tour by sending an official invitation to Sri Lanka to play a Test series.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Operating Officer Saleem Altaf said the invitation had been sent to Sri Lanka and they were expecting a positive response. "We would naturally have preferred India to fulfil its commitment to tour Pakistan. But we can't do anything when governments are involved.
So we are now trying to arrange an alternate series and hope Sri Lanka say yes," he said. Pakistan has invited Sri Lanka to play three Tests, three One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 game. The PCB official said the Board was disappointed with India's decision but admitted they were expecting it in the aftermath of last month's Mumbai terror attacks. He insisted that Pakistan's stand remains the same that sports should not be mixed with politics. "If this series had gone ahead it would only have helped improve the conditions. In the past also cricket have been played in similar situations and they have only helped clear the air," Altaf said.
He felt that India's decision to cancel the tour will hit Pakistan cricket in many ways.
"First it was a big series for our team and it would helped us generate much needed revenues. If India had come it would have boosted cricket in the country." He admitted that the PCB had got a mail from the BCCI informing them that the Indian government had not given green signal to the tour that was scheduled to start from January 4. "They have informed us that they can't play in existing conditions but they would consider future ties once conditions improve," Altaf added.