Sri Lanka cautious on Pakistan tour

May 23, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s cricket officials Monday reacted cautiously to an invitation to tour Pakistan, just two years after players were targeted in a deadly militant ambush in Lahore. The Pakistan Cricket Board announced at the weekend that they had invited Sri Lanka to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 game in a series proposed for October.

Sri Lanka officials said they would need security clearance before accepting the invite, as well as discussions with the government and the International Cricket Council (ICC). They offered to host a tournament in Sri Lanka instead.

“We are awaiting clearance from the authorities before we can accept an invitation,” Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga told AFP.

“We have in turn offered to host a tournament in Sri Lanka,” he added.

Seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach were wounded when gunmen opened fire on the Sri Lankan team bus at Lahore in 2009. Eight Pakistanis were also killed in the attack.

Even before the Lahore attacks, Pakistan was a no-go area for many teams because of security fears sparked in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, which