December 24, 2008 / 11:55 AM / 10 years ago

Pakistan push to salvage tour after Sri Lanka overhaul

KARACHI (Reuters) - Pakistani cricket officials will meet with their new Sri Lankan counterparts later this week in a bid to salvage their planned home series following the sacking of the country’s interim cricket board.

Pakistani representatives will hold talks during the Asian Cricket Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur, where they hope to convince Sri Lanka to go ahead with the tour amid concerns it will be scrapped by the new administrators.

The president of the Sri Lanka cricket interim committee, Arjuna Ranatunga, last week confirmed a tour to Pakistan from January 20, but he and his team were fired by the country’s sports minister Gamini Lokuge Tuesday.

Media reports quoted Lokuge as saying all decisions taken by Ranatunga would be reconsidered, throwing into doubt the scheduled tour, arranged after India aborted their trip to Pakistan in the wake of the recent Mumbai militant attacks.

Saleem Altaf, chief operating officer of the Pakistan board, told Reuters: “Right now it is their internal matter so we don’t want to panic but we want to ensure the tour goes on.

“We badly need to have an international series at home. We are keen on hosting Sri Lanka even though we will not make much money.

“It is important to have test cricket in our country.”

Pakistan have not played a test in over a year, with opponents declining invitations or pulling out due to security fears after a series of suicide bombings in the country.

Editing by Martin Petty

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