Sri Lanka board president wants Pakistan tour for first time since 2009

Pakistan's Hasan Ali celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka's Suranga Lakmal
Pakistan and Sri Lanka last met in Cardiff during the recent ICC Champions Trophy

Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala wants his team to tour Pakistan for the first time since their bus was attacked by gunmen in Lahore.

Since that 2009 attack, Zimbabwe have been the only full international side to tour Pakistan, playing five limited-overs games in Lahore in 2015.

"I am keen to take my team to Pakistan," said Sumathipala.

"We have three Twenty20 games against Pakistan in September and we would like to play at least one in Lahore."

Pakistan have played most of their "home" games since 2009 in the United Arab Emirates, although they "hosted" Australia in England in 2010.

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 currently playing overseas, in English county cricket and the Caribbean Premier League.

However, in June, a series of proposed games between Pakistan and Afghanistan were cancelled following a bomb attack in Kabul, while Pakistan and India have not met in Test cricket since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Speaking at the Asian Cricket Council's annual general meeting in Colombo, Sumathipala added: "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.

"There is always risk - there were two attacks in London during the Champions Trophy, but cricket continued under the security assurances of the ICC, so we too must be as accommodating and understanding as possible with our members and extend our fullest support to them as the cricketing family of Asia.

"Sri Lanka suffered through three decades of terrorism and war and at one stage no one wanted to come here - Pakistan stood by us then, as did India."

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