The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) might breathe a sigh of relief after Sri Lanka agreed to tour Pakistan in January on Friday, but till now the SLC has not agreed to the PCB’s proposed tour plan. As of now the two boards are still to thrash out conflicting views on the fixtures.
It is learnt that the PCB has invited Sri Lanka to play three Tests, three ODIs and two T20 matches after India officially cancelled its tour of Pakistan on Thursday. The latter, however, have demanded five ODIs and three Tests instead. Lanka is not keen to play any T20.
Confirming the development, SLC media manager Shane Fernando said: “We have accepted the tour proposal and our president has replied to the PCB about the same. The details of the tour are yet to be worked out, but we have requested for five ODIs and three Tests.”
“Sri Lanka’s support to the PCB in this exigency is a reminder that cricket is safe in the sub-continent and we will make every effort to ensure that the 2011 World Cup is safe,” he added.
Sri Lanka is expected to return from Bangladesh, where they would play two Tests followed by an ODI tri-series, including Zimbabwe, on January 17th and will tentatively fly to Pakistan around January 19, Fernando added.
It is learnt that the SLC have asked the PCB to provide just the bare necessities for the visiting team in order to reduce the burden in a time of financial crisis for the host board. “The players are also being asked to gear up for a grinding tour if they have to fly to Pakistan directly from Bangladesh,” Fernando said.
PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, too, corroborated the tour plan saying: “We are finalizing the details. The tour is almost confirmed and it should be some time in the middle of next month.” Matches will be played in Karachi, Lahore and Multan, he added.
Butt, however, refused to divulge the financial clauses mutually agreed upon by the two boards and said whatever the deal it should be of some relief to the host country given its loss emanating from the cancellation of India’s visit.
He expressed surprise over the media quoting PCB officials stating losses to the tune of 25-30 million dollars and said he would take action against anybody found responsible making exaggerated statements.