Sri Lanka to tour Pakistan for limited-overs collection in September

Pakistan will host their longest bilateral collection in a decade after Sri Lanka agreed to play three ODIs and three T20s in Karachi and Lahore. It will mark the primary worldwide motion within the nation for 18 months, although it has meant that the 2 Checks scheduled between the edges for October – and which the PCB wished to be performed in Pakistan – have been postponed to December. The place they are going to be performed isn’t but clear, although it seems as if this tour might be a trial run for bringing long-form cricket again to Pakistan.

The Nationwide Stadium in Karachi will host the three ODIs, whereas the T20Is might be staged in Lahore. The ODIs would be the first to happen in Pakistan since Zimbabwe toured for a three-match ODI collection in 2015; all of the worldwide cricket for the reason that 2017 PSL ultimate has been within the type of T20Is.

ESPNcricinfo understands discussions on the matter of the place the Checks might be performed are persevering with. The PCB had initially wished the Take a look at collection to be performed in Pakistan in October, however the Sri Lankan sports activities minister has stated that gamers have been reluctant for that to occur.

The choice to swap codecs, in response to a PCB press launch, was made following a telephone dialogue between the Pakistan Chairman Ehsan Mani and SLC President Shammi Silva on Friday. The guests will arrive in Karachi on September 25 and fly dwelling on October 10.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka carried out their safety evaluation in Lahore and Karachi – the 2 potential venues for any worldwide cricket within the collection – and it threw up “very constructive” outcomes. In the end, it doesn’t appear to have been constructive sufficient to take away participant apprehensions about enjoying Take a look at cricket in Pakistan. However the limited-overs leg offers Pakistan a possibility to persuade gamers in any other case and may it go off and not using a hitch, allow the PCB to make a extra convincing case for the Take a look at collection to be performed within the nation, too.

ALSO READ: Sri Lanka mull playing Test cricket in Pakistan

In keeping with Sri Lanka sports activities minister Harin Fernando, the board had conveyed to him that it might want “to not take the danger” of enjoying a Take a look at in Pakistan. He believed “some gamers have been fairly apprehensive,” and that Sri Lanka would play solely one of many two limited-overs collection in Pakistan, and that the Checks would “positively” be held within the UAE. Because it seems, Sri Lanka will play the whole limited-overs leg in Pakistan, staying within the nation for 13 days, with the PCB not but ruling out the potential for an precise dwelling Take a look at collection.

A Sri Lanka staff performed one T20I in Lahore in October 2017, however did so with out a variety of its outstanding names. Sri Lanka’s then T20I captain, Upul Tharanga, pulled out, together with Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Suranga Lakmal and Akila Dananjaya. However the recreation went off with out incident.

For all of the promising developments by way of growing worldwide cricket in Pakistan over the previous two years or so, convincing a staff to play a Take a look at match within the nation has proved troublesome. Partly, the elevated time dedication Take a look at match will invariably demand has confirmed a difficult hurdle to beat. And with the World Take a look at Championship now having begun, it’s unlikely groups would even be prepared to ship over weakened squads for a one-off Checks, with every recreation carrying important factors that rely in the direction of the eventual standings.

“The PCB is happy with the end result of its discussions with Sri Lanka Cricket, which has supported Pakistan in its efforts and endeavours for the entire revival of worldwide cricket,” Mani stated. “The tour for limited-overs matches may even present Sri Lanka with an excellent higher understanding of the bottom state of affairs earlier than discussing the schedule of the Checks.

“The internet hosting of the ICC World XI, a T20I towards Sri Lanka, three-T20I collection males’s and girls’s collection towards the West Indies and eight HBL PSL 2019 matches inside the previous couple of years is a testomony to Pakistan’s declare that it’s a protected and safe nation to play cricket.

“We’re very grateful to Sri Lanka Cricket President Mr Shammi Silva, his board and gamers for responding positively to our request to play matches in Pakistan.”

Silva stated: “The PCB and SLC have an extended historical past of cricket relationship and friendship, and this choice solely strengthens that bonding. The SLC is dedicated to enjoying its position within the promotion of cricket and appears ahead to visiting Karachi and Lahore for 3 ODIs and three T20Is.

“The SLC safety consultants had visited the 2 cities earlier this month and had given a constructive report, which made our job of decision-making simple. The protection and safety of its gamers is the accountability of the SLC, which it takes very critically. If there had been any doubts, the SLC wouldn’t have gone forward with this association that we envisage will enhance the gamers’ confidence and belief stage and also will be crucial once we begin discussions on the schedule of the Take a look at matches.”

On 21 April 2019, Easter Sunday, there have been a number of bomb assaults in church buildings and resorts all throughout Sri Lanka, with over 250 individuals killed and greater than 500 injured. Sri Lanka Cricket was significantly apprehensive about what it meant for visiting groups sooner or later. However simply over a month after the assault, Pakistan’s U-19 staff visited Sri Lanka for 5 50-over matches, a transfer that created a lot goodwill between the 2 boards, and provides Pakistan a barely higher probability of convincing Sri Lanka to play as a lot as potential of their tour within the nation.

* With extra reporting by Andrew Fidel Fernando