Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) Interim Committee President Sidath Wettimuny hopes that the successful conclusion of the Zimbabwe team’s tour will change perceptions of other teams to come and play in Pakistan sans fear, The Express Tribune reported.
Zimbabwe became the first team in six years to play series with Pakistan as hosts after an armed attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009 led to suspension of international cricket in the country.
In its efforts to revive the game here, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had extended proposals to heads of other cricket boards to come and witness the arrangements made for the aforementioned series.
“The best thing is that series with Zimbabwe has finally happened and now everybody is going to accept it was a tour which ended successfully,” Wettimuny told The Express Tribune at the Gaddafi Stadium.
“We’re really happy that somebody has come to Pakistan to kickoff international cricket here. I’ve been amazed by the crowd and atmosphere. People here have shown how much they want to see international cricket and it is certainly a great start for Pakistan cricket.”
There had been a proposal previously to host Sri Lanka in April 2016 after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse stated that they would help Pakistan and send the national team.
Asked is there a chance for that proposal to materialize, Wettimuny replied: “It’s too early to say anything. It was important to come here and basically it’s a goodwill gesture on our part. We have always been very supportive of Pakistan cricket. I’ll go back and tell our board what I’ve seen and then we can take it from there. Having gone through what Sri Lanka did, there are certainly mixed reactions.”
He added that the security has been really good but he will go back and talk to the players.
“I need to go back, talk to our players because they have to be comfortable with it and know what they want to do. I’m sure that the government will look into it positively. We’ll assess everything and if there is any chance we will help,” he stated, adding that there have been exchanges with PCB over sending A and U19 teams in future.