One of the concerns for every visiting team to tour Pakistan is around their security. Ever since those dastardly terror attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009, there has virtually been no cricket in Pakistan in the past ten years. And, even if there have been limited-overs series against West Indies, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe during the ten-year period, the high-profile cricketers have mostly stayed away from touring Pakistan.
And, it was the same case when Sri Lanka visited Pakistan for a limited-overs International series back in early October where most of their high-profile cricketers including Test and ODI skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Matthews, gave it a miss. But, after having experienced Pakistan and the security first hand in the ongoing Test series, skipper Karunaratne now regrets as to why he didn’t tour Pakistan earlier.
“Yeah, now I regret that. I think at that time it was a hard decision to take because I never had been to Pakistan and I had heard things on the news and on social media which were not good. But once the guys who came here gave us really good feedback, we all seniors decided to visit Pakistan and play the Test series. Now that we are here, I feel good. I feel that I should have come and play ODIs,” the 31-year-old Karunaratne lamented on his decision to opt-out of Pakistan tour back in September as quoted by Geo Tv.
The Sri Lankan skipper also lauded the efforts of Pakistani security officials. “I can say that I feel really safe here. The security guys are giving more than one hundred per cent and that is why we are feeling very good. We also went out for dinner and we enjoyed. My team and I feel safe here and I can say that Pakistan is now safe for the cricket. I can’t tell other teams but I can surely give my opinion,” he added.
Sri Lanka expected to make at least one change to their playing 11 for Karachi Test
Coming back to the game, Sri Lanka has been grappled with injury issues. After having already lost Suranga Lakmal due to dengue, the islanders lost the services of Kasun Rajitha due to hamstring issue and Karunaratne confirmed there would at least east one change to the playing 11.
“We will definitely have one change, Kasun Rajitha will not play tomorrow, we have another pacer in place of him. But we haven’t decided on our final XI yet, we will have a look at wicket tomorrow and see how things are in the morning what they are going to do with whether weather they leave the grass or not. I feel it will have tur,n on, later on, that’s why we are waiting what curator is going to do tomorrow,” Karunaratne confirmed.
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