Tuesday, 14 January 2014 00:01
Wants tour to go ahead if players not at risk; SLC security team visits Bangladesh
ESPNCricinfo: Sri Lanka Cricket has reaffirmed its commitment to the tour of Bangladesh even though a cancelled tour may bring the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 to Sri Lanka.
SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga has said the board will not compromise on player security but is otherwise eager to support its Asian neighbours. Sri Lanka is believed to be among the reserve hosts for both those tournaments.
“Player security is what we are most concerned about, but if we tour Bangladesh, we can help ensure the region stays strong from a cricketing perspective,” Ranatunga said. “In Asia, we have a situation currently where we can’t tour Pakistan. Even though a tournament could be moved, in the long-term it is better for us that the region remains strong. Bangladesh has a cricket-loving public and it’s important that cricket is played there, if possible.”
SLC has monitored the security situation in Bangladesh during the past weeks, but has maintained its willingness to send a team throughout the upheaval. Its final decision on the tour is expected by January 15, and is subject to the findings of a security delegation that arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday. The Sri Lanka team is scheduled to leave for Bangladesh on January 24.
The board’s enthusiasm to send its team is also driven by an element of reciprocity, Ranatunga said. “In the past we have had problems in our country as well, but during that time, Bangladesh were happy to tour. As long as there is no risk to our players, we would like to support the BCB as well.”The Sri Lanka team had been victims of a terrorist attack in Lahore in 2009, and Ranatunga had earlier said the board would play close attention to any possible security threats. SLC has received advice from the Sri Lankan High Commission in Dhaka in the lead-up to its final decision.
The two-member security unit will visit Mirpur on Tuesday and meet the local security authorities on the following day. One of the two men will stay back in Dhaka for the January 20 World Twenty20 security assessment meeting with the rest of the participating boards and the ICC.