Sep 12, 2019

8500 commandos for protection of Sri Lanka team

The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has said that 8,500 Pakistani commandos will be providing security for the upcoming ODI and T20I tournament in Pakistan.

Pakistani authorities have agreed to provide bulletproof vehicles for transport to the stadium and ensure that the hotel where the players are staying will be secured so that no other person can enter.

Accordingly the Pakistani government has agreed to provide security for the Sri Lanka Pakistan ODI and T20I tournament under category of security that is provided to a head of state, reports say.

Sri Lanka and Pakistan are scheduled to play three ODIs in Karachi on September 27, 29 and October 3 before they move to Lahore for the T20I leg that concludes on October 9.

The tour had been thrown into doubt after Prime Minister's Office is said to have received news of a "possible terrorist threat on the Sri Lanka team".

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) released a statement Wednesday  (11 September) saying it had received "reliable information of a possible terrorist threat" against the national squad and had "sought the assistance of the Sri Lankan Government to conduct a "reassessment of the security situation."The decision, the statement read, was taken following a warning received from the Prime Minister's Office. "Hence, SLC has been advised to take extreme care."

Lahiru Thirimanne and Dasun Shanaka have been named Sri Lanka's ODI and T20I captains respectively for the limited-overs tour of Pakistan.

The announcement comes two days after Dimuth Karunaratne and Lasith Malinga, the incumbents, informed the Sri Lanka Cricket of their unwillingness to tour Pakistan, along with eight others, citing security concerns.

The reason for the players’ boycott is mainly due to the fact that the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by armed gunmen in March 2009, which left six players injured and resulted in the deaths of six Pakistani police officers and two civilians.

Cricket in Pakistan came to a halt in 2009, after the Sri Lanka team was attacked by gunmen on the way to the ground in Lahore.

By hosting the limited-overs series first, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hoped to convince Sri Lanka Cricket that the nation was secure enough to host Test cricket, starting with the teams' World Test Championship matches, presently scheduled for December.