Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday said the scheduled home series against Sri Lanka will go ahead despite top players from the island nation pulling out of the tour.
Most of the international teams have refused to tour Pakistan since a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009. The Sri Lankan cricket board had given the freedom to its players to choose if they want to travel to Pakistan.
Twenty20 skipper Lasith Malinga and former captains Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera are among 10 players who have decided against travelling to Pakistan, citing security concerns.
"We understand the situation the Sri Lankan board is facing and we know they can't force any of their players to come for the tour which still remains very important for us," said a PCB official.
"If this tour is successful, then just think on what grounds would the Sri Lankan board or even the Bangladesh cricket board not agree to play the ICC World Test Championship matches in Pakistan. Regardless of which player (s) are coming the fact is it is the Sri Lankan national team which will tour Pakistan from this month and that is what matters to the board," he added.
The Sri Lankan team will reach Karachi on 25 September and play three ODIs before going to Lahore for three T20 matches and return home on 9 October.
Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne have opted out of tour.
Kusal Mendis was not available for selection due to an injury he suffered during the New Zealand Series.
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The 30-year-old left-hander tested negative along with 34 other players and 20 members of the squad but suffered fever, forcing Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to withdraw him.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani believes the successful and event-free conduct of Pakistan Super League 5 has enhanced the image of the country and exuded confidence of hosting more international teams next year.
England all-rounder Moeen Ali believes Pakistan's decision to honour their commitment to tour England in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic this year played a role.