International Cricket returned to Pakistan late last month with Sri Lanka becoming the first full-member nation to tour the terror-savaged nation for an ODI series. Ironically, Sri Lanka was the last team to tour Pakistan. Back in 2009, a dastardly terrorist attack on the Lankan team bus meant International cricket was all-but stalled.
Since those terror attacks in 2009, International teams haven’t toured Pakistan, who have been forced to play all their home series in the obscure stadiums of Abu Dhabi. Concerted efforts have been made by the Pakistan Cricket Board to restore cricket in the country. And, one of the significant steps towards is the ongoing series against Sri Lanka. Despite players like Lasith Malinga, Angelo Matthews, and Thisara Perera, the white-ball tour can be seen as another stepping stone.
Thus, after the white-ball leg, Pakistan Cricket Board is harboring the ambition of a possible Test series at home against Lanka in December. The PCB has now invited the SLC to play matches of the ICC Test Championship in December.
“Security for the series has been top-notch” – SLC President
SLC President Shammi de Silva reckoned that the security for the series is top-notch. However, the SLC President also noted that since the Tests are a part of the ICC Test championship if 3-4 players refuse to come to Pakistan, then they may have to take a call.
“The security for this series has been top-notch and we have no complaints. But for the Tests we have to think because we are playing the World Test Championship and if three or four players who are in the Test team refuse to come, we will then have to see and take a call,” SLC President Shammi de Silva told reporters.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Sports Minister Harin Fernando and a top-level delegation of SLC including President de Silva and Secretary Mohan de Silva are currently in Pakistan to assess the security of their national team. Speaking to the reporters, Fernando reckoned they only wanted to play three T20s in Pakistan but then they felt that the team needed to move on and support Pakistan.
“We have to respect their (the Lankan players, who refused to travel) decisions. But the players who have come on the tour have played inside and out of the national team and they could put pressure on the senior players. We initially wanted to play just three T20 matches in Pakistan but then we felt we need to support Pakistan more. We wanted to go ahead with the tour because the team has to move on,” Fernando added.
Meanwhile, the 3rd ODI of the 3-match series will take place today at the National Stadium in Karachi where the visitors will hope to assume parity after suffering a 67-run loss in the 2nd match.
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