Pakistan mull Zimbabwe for Sri Lanka series

Pakistan are considering Zimbabwe as one of several options to host the home series against Sri Lanka later this year, a cricket official said on Friday.

Pakistan has been a virtual no-go zone for international teams since March 2009, when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team, killing eight people and wounding seven visiting players and their assistant coach.

Since then, Pakistan have played home series in England, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Last month, Sri Lanka refused to tour Pakistan for their scheduled series of three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 match in October-November, instead offering their own stadiums for the series.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said Zimbabwe could be an option.

“Yes, we are considering the option of playing Sri Lanka in Zimbabwe, where we can make a profit because of low costs there,” Sarwar said.

PCB said last month that it was still exploring the possibility of staging the series in Sri Lanka and the UAE.

Sri Lanka have also offered to host Pakistan’s series against England next year.

England, who last toured Pakistan in 2005, are not keen on travelling to Pakistan considering poor security in the troubled country, where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants are blamed for near daily bomb attacks.

Foreign teams started to refuse to tour Pakistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks, which triggered the US-led invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan, the war on Al-Qaeda and a sharp deterioration in security.

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