'Fed up' with stringent security in Pakistan, Sri Lankan cricket board president to reconsider Test tour
The Sri Lankan cricket team staged a valiant comeback after going down 0-2 in the ODI series to maul Pakistan 3-0 in the T20I series in their own backyard. The young Lankan side recently returned home after a successful tour of Pakistan with several positives from the T20I series. Initially, there were doubts over the limited-overs tour but the Sri Lankan board sent a second-string squad for the series after as many as ten senior players pulled out citing security concerns.
The series was conducted peacefully without any security hiccups as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) ensured strict measures were taken to prevent any threats. However, there remain uncertainties over Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan in December later this year for a two-match Test series. After the team's return, Sri Lankan board president Shammi Silva has claimed that he got fed-up staying in hotel rooms for three-four days due to security arrangements. He stated that the board will be reconsulting with players and officials before making an official decision regarding the team's tour for Test series in December.
"The players had to stay inside the hotel. I got fed up staying for three or four days. We have to talk to the players and support staff and see how this will affect the Test series," Silva was quoted as saying in a report. Ashantha de Mel, the Sri Lankan team's manager also echoed Silva's sentiments and explained how it was mentally tough for the players to not be allowed to move around and go out of their hotel rooms.
He also said that Sri Lanka toured the country for the sake of Pakistan but will have to reassess their plans for the Test series. “In a Test match, you are looking at 15 days of going to the ground instead of five days for the ODIs and T20Is. The matches we played are one-day and short games. We had only five matches, the sixth was washed out. We can’t go and play a Test match without a practice match. In this particular series we didn’t play a warm-up game we went straight into the ODIs,” said De Mel.
“The roads are closed, the process takes about half an hour to close the roads and they won’t allow you to move. It’s not easy, mentally it’s tough. We owed something to Pakistan because they’ve always helped us. We were able to bear it up for the sake of Pakistan but how much can you bear?" he added.
Sri Lankan side led by Dasun Shanaka became the first-ever Lankan side to register a whitewash in a three-match T20I series away from home as they thumped Pakistan 3-0 in Lahore. The number one ranked T20I side in the world were humiliated by a young Sri Lankan side, who were without a number of their first-team players in the series.