Sri Lanka team to tour Pakistan in September

Sri Lanka's cricket board has approved a tour to Pakistan, eight years after a deadly militant attack on their team, officials said on Monday.

Sri Lanka Cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala said that after a security assessment, the team had been cleared to play three Twenty20 internationals, including “at least one” in Lahore — the scene of the 2009 attack which left eight people dead.

“We have had our security experts visit and make an assessment; things look positive with improvement all over the country and especially with Lahore being cleared,” Sumathipala was quoted as saying in a statement.

“We have three T20 games coming up against Pakistan in September and we would like to play at least one of those games in Lahore,” he added.

Since 2009, the only international team to visit Pakistan is Zimbabwe, who played five limited-overs games in Lahore in 2015. 

Sumpathipala recalled that several top Test National did not want to visit Sri Lanka at the height of the Tamil separatist conflict, when bombs were exploding in the capital in the mid 1990s.

"Sri Lanka suffered through three decades of terrorism and war at one stage, no one wanted to come here - Pakistan stood by us then, as did India" Sumpathipala said.

"Once Sri Lanka has toured Pakistan, the door will be open for safe passage of other teams to the country," he said.

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