Uncertainty surrounds Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka

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Uncertainty surrounds Pakistan’s tour of Sri Lanka after a state of emergency was declared in the island country on Wednesday.

The Babar Azam-led unit are currently playing a three-day warm-up match, ahead of their two-match Test series against the home side.

“PCB and Sri Lanka Cricket are constantly in contact; however, no decision has been taken about calling off the tour,” a PCB official said. “If the situation is not under control, the series could be postponed.”

The first is set to take place in Galle from July 16, meanwhile the second match will be held in Colombo from July 24.

It must be noted that thousands of people mobbed the prime minister’s office after the country’s president flew to the Maldives, following months of widespread protests against an economic crisis.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had promised at the weekend to resign on Wednesday and clear the way for a “peaceful transition of power” after fleeing his official residence in Colombo just before tens of thousands of protesters overran it.

Police fired tear gas to hold them back from overrunning the compound and officials declared a nationwide state of emergency “to deal with the situation in the country”, the prime minister’s spokesman Dinouk Colombage told media.

Police imposed an indefinite curfew across the Western Province, which includes Colombo, “to contain the situation”, a senior police officer said.

Sri Lanka defaulted on its $51-billion foreign debt in April and is in talks with the IMF for a possible bailout.

The island has nearly exhausted its already scarce supplies of petrol. The government has ordered the closure of non-essential offices and schools to reduce commuting and save fuel.—INP

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