A final decision on the details of the itinerary of Sri Lanka's trip to Pakistan is expected early next week. Sri Lankan officials have confirmed again to Pakistan, however, that their team will be the first country to tour for a Test series since October 2007.
"We have already confirmed to our Pakistani counterparts that we will be touring their country. We will definitely honour our commitment. Reports of our possible pullout from the tour are not true," Duleep Mendis, the Chief Executive of Sri Lanka Cricket told Geo News. "There are few things which we're discussing with the PCB and our players and then we'll finalise the itinerary, may be in few days ... I would say in a couple of days .... But the tour is definitely on."
Sri Lankan officials have asked for a short tour including two Tests, three ODIs and a T20I which begins mid-February. Pakistan are keen on the original itinerary - also suggested by Sri Lanka - of three Tests and five ODIs which begins late January. That ends earlier than Sri Lanka's proposal, thus avoiding a clash with Pakistan's tour to Bangladesh, for which they depart on March 3.
But the change of mind in Sri Lanka has come from their players, who are keen to have a break after their tour to Bangladesh.
"We were in contact with SLC this morning and they have told us they will get back to us with an itinerary on Sunday," Salim Altaf, chief operating officer, "We will respond to that the day after and hopefully the itinerary will be finalised then."
That the tour is going ahead at all will be of great relief to the PCB, who have struggled without top-flight cricket for much of the last year. This contest itself is a replacement for the Pakistan-India series after India pulled out following the Mumbai attacks.