South Africa pulls out of Sri Lanka cricket series

Aug 16 (AFP) – South Africa have pulled out of the limited-overs tri-series against India and hosts Sri Lanka due to security concerns after a deadly bombing, a Sri Lankan cricket official said on Wednesday. Australia and the West Indies refused to play their World Cup matches in Sri Lanka in 1996 when a powerful bomb in downtown Colombo, blamed on rebel Tamil Tigers, killed 91 and injured 1,400 a few days before the tournament. “South Africa have told us they want to pull out. It is unfortunate but true,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) media manager Samantha Algama told AFP.

A South African source said earlier: “The players are in no mood to play the series. We are just waiting for the green signal to fly home.”

The Proteas were due to issue a formal statement later on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka have asked India to play a bilateral one-day series following South Africa’s withdrawal, Algama said.

“We have asked India to play five one-dayers in lieu of the tri-series and they have promised to get back to us on Thursday,” he said.

“Sri Lanka are very grateful to India for helping us in a crisis.”

South Africa had indicated on Tuesday they wanted to return home after Monday’s blast c