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‘Complete revival’ for Pakistan as Sri Lanka agree to ODI tour

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Sri Lanka are set to become the first major Test-playing nation in over a decade to compete in an ODI series in Pakistan when they tour their later this year.

The two nations will contest a three-match ODI series and three-match T20I series in Pakistan from September 27. The ODI series will take place in Karachi while the T20Is will be played in Lahore. The scheduled World Test Championship fixtures between the two sides have been postponed until December.

Originally, the two sides were scheduled to play two Tests in October and contest the white-ball series in December, but both boards have agreed to swap the series around.

Since the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 in which eight people were killed by masked gunmen, Zimbabwe (two T20Is and three ODIs in 2015), Sri Lanka (one T20I in 2017) and West Indies (three T20Is in 2018) have been the only men’s international sides to tour Pakistan. The West Indies women’s side also toured Pakistan earlier this year.

Sri Lanka’s upcoming tour is the culmination of a long process attempting to bring major international cricket back to Pakistan. As well as the handful of international fixtures in recent years, eight Pakistan Super League games have been played in Pakistan.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PSB) chairman Ehsan Mani said:“The PCB is pleased with the outcome of its discussions with Sri Lanka Cricket, which has supported Pakistan in its efforts and endeavours for the complete revival of international cricket. The tour for limited overs matches will also provide Sri Lanka with an even better understanding of the ground situation before discussing schedule of the Tests.

“The upcoming matches will end the long await of the Pakistan cricket fans and supporters to watch modern-day stars from both sides live in action. This is something that will contribute immensely to our revamped domestic cricket structure.

Shammi Silva, the president of Sri Lanka Cricket, is confident of Pakistan’s suitability to once again host regular international cricket. “The safety and security of its players is the responsibility of the SLC, which it takes very seriously,” he said. “If there had been any doubts, the SLC would not have gone ahead with this arrangement that we envisage will improve the players’ confidence and trust level and will also be critical when we start discussions on the schedule of the Test matches.”

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