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ICC to check Pakistan tour safety

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene (left) and team-mate Prasanna Jayawardene
Sri Lanka are currently touring Bangladesh

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will conduct a security assessment before picking the umpires for Sri Lanka's proposed tour of Pakistan.

Sri Lanka will tour Pakistan in early 2009 after India withdrew following November's terror attacks in Mumbai.

"We will do an independent assessment of the situation," said ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat.

"I am convinced the Sri Lankan board will also do everything to ascertain whether it is safe to play."

Major teams have refused to tour Pakistan this year because of fears over the safety of their players.

The ICC also postponed the Champions Trophy, which was due to take place in Pakistan in September, until late next year, with the venue still to be confirmed.

Lorgat added that he hoped the situation would improve in Pakistan, where there has been a spate of suicide bombings in the last year.

Pakistan have not played a Test match in 2008 because teams have refused to tour.

"Every one of us wants it, we hope matches resume," he said. "I know that is wishful, (but) we would like to see cricket on Pakistan soil.

"But again, that depends on the safety and security that prevails."

The dates and venues for Sri Lanka's tour, which will take place January and February, have yet to be finalised.

The proposed schedule would see Sri Lanka play three Tests , three one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international.

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see also
Sri Lanka agree to tour Pakistan
19 Dec 08 |  Cricket
Minister opposes tour of Pakistan
12 Dec 08 |  South Asia
India tour of Pakistan in doubt
01 Dec 08 |  Pakistan
PCB chief fears divide in cricket
29 Nov 08 |  Pakistan

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