Sri Lanka ready to tour Pakistan
Sri Lanka have declared they would be prepared to tour Pakistan early next year should India refuse to travel to their neighbouring country.
The tour, which is scheduled for January and February 2009, hangs in the balance with the Indian government yet to make a decision on a letter from the Board of Control for Cricket in India seeking permission to travel.
Already in doubt due to the fragile security situation in Pakistan, the tour was put in further jeopardy following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai and last week, India's sports minister Manohar Singh Gill said the tour should not take place.
Pakistan, who have not played a Test match in 2008, may not need to search too far for alternative opponents, however, with Sri Lanka ready to fill the void should India opt out of the tour.
"We will not hesitate to send our team to Pakistan in the case that we are invited," said Sri Lanka Cricket chairman Arjuna Ranatunga.
"Pakistan has proved in the past that it can provide adequate security as it did during the Asia Cup Cricket tournament."
The Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer Saleem Altaf is examining options for opponents should India withdraw.
"I spoke to a number of member board officials at the ICC chief executive meeting last week,” Altaf said.
"It was a good platform to explore and discuss things. However, our standard operating procedure is in place and we will only work on alternatives once a final decision is taken by India."
Australia pulled out of a scheduled series in Pakistan earlier this year due to safety concerns.