Sri Lanka gives go-ahead for Pakistan cricket tour

December 26, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka has given the green light for the national cricket team to tour Pakistan next month in place of India, who cancelled their five-week series over the Mumbai attacks.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said it was set to lose at least 25 million dollars as a result of the cancellation but would recover some of the money by hosting Sri Lanka.

Australia refused to tour Pakistan in March over security fears.

Then in August, the International Cricket Council (ICC) was forced to put off the elite eight-nation Champions Trophy to be hosted by Pakistan after South Africa pulled out of the event over security fears.

The ICC rescheduled the event for September-October 2009 but will assess the security situation in Pakistan during the Sri Lanka series before taking a final decision. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama announced the decision after talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse, who sanctioned the tour, which will run from January 20 to February 25, the foreign ministry said.

“Minister Bogollagama is of the view that sport is an effective means of promoting connectivity between nations and thereby enhancing friendship and mutual goodwill betwe