Sri Lanka 'keen' to visit Pakistan for T20s in September

Since 2009 only Zimbabwe have toured Pakistan for a limited-overs series in 2015

Since 2009 only Zimbabwe have toured Pakistan for a limited-overs series in 2015

Sri Lanka Cricket will stage a Twenty20 match between a Sri Lanka XI and a World XI on September 8 to raise funds for disaster-affected children following recent incidences of both flooding and drought across different parts of the country.

"All the funds raised through this event will go to Cricket Aid, not only to support the disaster affected children, plus there were a lot of areas that were affected by flood", de Silva said.

"I am keen to take my team to Pakistan", said Sumathipala. We have three T20 games coming up against Pakistan in September and we would like to play at least one of those games in Lahore. We have had our security experts visit and make an assessment, and things look positive with things improving all over the country and especially Lahore being cleared.

"I call upon each one of you as members to play your role and give Pakistan the security of your support". Since that attack, in which six policemen and two civilians were killed, only Zimbabwe have toured the country, playing five internationals in Lahore in 2015.

As well as Sri Lanka, Pakistan are also hoping to host an International Cricket Council (ICC) World XI in September, which has led the Pakistan Cricket Board to recall its players now playing overseas, in English county cricket and the Caribbean Premier League.

Pakistan could be on the verge of hosting their highest-profile worldwide visitor in the last eight years, with Sri Lanka all but committing to play a T20 there in September or October. The dates of the series haven't been announced yet but it's likely to take place in September. However, the words of Sumathipala will come as music to PCB and chairman Najam Sethi's ears. Following the conclusion of the series, they will also play an ODI series that begins on August 20 and a T20I as well.

Pakistan have played most of their "home" games since 2009 in the United Arab Emirates, although they "hosted" Australia in England in 2010. While security concerns are valid and shouldn't be taken lightly, the fact that the Pakistan Super League was held in the country, Zimbabwe have toured them and ICC are themselves pushing for worldwide cricket to return to the country shows that it is safe for the players to play.

That Sri Lanka, who were the unfortunate victims that led to all this, are themselves ready to tour Pakistan should only serve as great news and prove once again that sport has the power to unite us all and cut across boundaries.

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