The second ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka got underway at the National Stadium in Karachi. This brings international cricket back into the Pakistani home turf after a long time, since the last international team to play ODIs was Zimbabwe. The first ODI of the 3-match series was washed out due to rains and this encounter was also postponed by a day.
Sri Lanka has sent a depleted side to this limited-overs tour which also features a 3-match T20I series, which will be played in Lahore. Ten of the star Lankan players decided to skip this tour owing to security issues, given that the last time Sri Lanka came to this part of the world, they were greeted by terrorists firing at their team bus and many of the players were injured as well. But this time, they have been awarded head of the state like security and this means a lot of assurance to the Lankan board.
Sri Lankan players wear black armbands
As both the teams gathered on the ground for the national anthems, the Sri Lanka players were seen wearing the black armbands on their left arm. It was later revealed that they were mourning the demise of their former team manager Michael de Zoyza. Zoyza also has functioned as an Executive Committee Member of the SLC and has held several other honorary positions in the game’s administration.
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to express our deepest condolences to Mr. Zoyza’s family at this moment of sorrow. Michael was a great man with a good character and had a proactive mindset. The cricketing fraternity will immensely miss his presence,” Ashley De Silva, CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was quoted as saying in a press release.
Meanwhile, head coach of the team Rumesh Ratnayake also mentioned that the success of this limited-overs tour might help Pakistan convince other teams to visit them and play on their home turf. It might also get Sri Lanka to come and play the upcoming Test series in December in Pakistan itself instead of moving it to UAE. The third and final ODI of the series will also be played at the same venue on Wednesday.
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