Sri Lanka turn down Pakistan tour due to safety fears

Sri Lanka have turned down an offer to tour Pakistan because of ongoing security concerns.

Pakistan has not hosted international cricket since 2009, when gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, killing seven people.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said on Sunday that they had invited Sri Lanka for a series in October.

"We are concerned about the security and that's why we said no to them," said a Sri Lanka cricket spokesman.

"We are not going to send our team to Pakistan," said Sri Lanka Cricket chairman DS de Silva.

"I have asked the secretary to inform the Pakistan Cricket Board today [Tuesday] of the decision.

"We have instead requested Pakistan to host the matches in Colombo or at a neutral venue like Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

"The circumstances, with regards to security, don't allow us to play matches there [Pakistan]. Even the International Cricket Council has not given us security clearance," former Test leg-spinner de Silva said.

The itinerary put forward by the PCB included three Tests, five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 game in a series proposed for October.

But an attack by the Taliban on a naval air force base near Karachi's National Stadium on Sunday dealt a severe blow to the prospects.

Pakistan have played their 'home' series in the United Arab Emirates, England and New Zealand.

On Monday, Afghanistan became the first foreign squad since the attack to arrive to play against Pakistan.

The Afghans will take on a second-string Pakistan national team in a three-match series.

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