IMAGE: Sri Lanka fans ((Image used for representational purposes. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
A two-member security delegation of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC)will reach Karachi on Wednesday to decide if it is safe for its national team to tour Pakistan in October for a round of the ICC World Test Championship.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani said that the Sri Lankan delegation will visit the grounds and hotels where the teams will stay in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad besides meeting the board, police and security officials.
He said the Sri Lankan board has said it would take a final decision on sending its team to Pakistan for the two-Test series based on the report by its security delegation.
“The Sri Lankan security delegation will be in Karachi on 6th August and then travel to Lahore and Islamabad,” he confirmed.
Top Test teams stopped touring Pakistan after terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
The Sri Lankan team was in the middle of a Test match and was going to the Gaddafi stadium when its bus came under attack.
Since then no Test matches have been played in Pakistan neither a full bilateral series although Zimbabwe, Kenya, ICC World Eleven, Sri Lanka and West Indies have come for short visits to Lahore and Karachi to play limited over games.
Mani said he was confident the Sri Lankan board would give due consideration to PCB’s request to play the ICC Test Championship matches in Pakistan.
Mani said that the PCB’s thrust was now to convince other boards to send their teams to Pakistan and said the top officials of Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board will also be visiting the country soon.
PCB central contracts unlikely for Malik, Hafeez
Senior Pakistan players Shoaib Malik, Junaid Khan and Muhammad Hafeez are set to lose their central PCB contracts for the next fiscal year.
A meeting was held at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters on Thursday to discuss the new central contracts structure but ended without a final decision.
“One thing is clear that the board will not be offering 30 to 33 players the new contracts and the list of contracted players is going to be cut down to around 18 to 20,” one reliable source in the board said.
Although the players could get enhancements in their monthly salaries and match fees, the board has decided now to only award contracts to players who have done well in the last one year and have a future with the Pakistan team.
“It seems unlikely that Shoaib Malik, Hafeez, Junaid, and some others will get these central contracts now.”
Malik announced his retirement from ODIs after the World Cup and will only be playing T20 cricket from now onwards while left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir has also announced his retirement from Tests and will only play limited-overs cricket.
“The board also doesn’t feel that Hafeez has a long time ahead of him since he has also said goodbye to Test cricket while Junaid Khan’s fitness has been a matter of concern for some time now,” the source said.
GT20 Canada: Gayle storm takes Vancouver Knights to victory
Chris Gayle’s brilliant knock of 94 runs helped Vancouver Knights secure a six-wicket victory over Edmonton Royals in the ongoing GT20 Canada in Brampton, Canada, on Friday.
With this defeat, Edmonton Royals continued their winless run in the ongoing tournament while Vancouver Knights now stand on the second position on the points table.
Chasing a target of 166 runs, Vancouver Knights had a poor start as Tobias Visee gave away his wicket in the very first over of the inning bowled by Mohammad Hafeez.
Gayle was then accompanied by Chadwick Walton. Both kept hammering regular boundaries and kept the scoreboard running. However, in the eighth over Walton fell for 17 runs.
Gayle continued smashing boundaries and sixes and was severe on Shadab Khan, taking him for four sixes and two boundaries in the 13th over.
However, in the next over Cutting sent Gayle back to the pavilion as he was caught by Mohammad Nawaz which ended his 94-run inning off just 44 deliveries. Andre Russell too followed Gayle back to the pavilion as he was bowled by Cutting on the next ball.
Daniel Sams then came out to bat and along with Malik, took his side over the win to register a six-wicket victory.
Earlier, Edmonton Royals, who were sent to bat first, had a substandard start. Navneet Dhaliwal and Richie Berrington opened the inning but the latter managed to score just one run before he was given LBW off Saad Bin Zafar’s delivery in the third over.
Mohammad Hafeez then joined Dhaliwal but their partnership also did not last long as Dhaliwal (5) fell victim to Hayden Walsh. James Neesham was the next batsman but the fall of wickets did not stop as Hafeez (6) too was sent back to the pavilion.
Hafeez’s dismissal brought Ben Cutting out on the field. Neesham, who scored 28 runs, kept the scoreboard running by hitting regular boundaries before Walsh got hold of him in the 10th over. Shadab Khan came out to bat but went back to the pavilion on a duck.
Mohammad Nawaz then took the field and played brilliantly with Cutting. In the 19th over, Nawaz got run out which ended his 40-run inning. Cutting, who played a knock of 72, too got run out in the final over. Edmonton Royals finally got to 165/9.
Brief Score: Vancouver Knights 166/4 (Chris Gayle 94, Shoaib Malik 34*, Ben Cutting 3-27) defeated Edmonton Royals 165/9 (Ben Cutting 72, Mohammad Nawaz 40, Hayden Walsh 2-20) by six wickets.