In what is cited as a big relief to Pakistani cricket fans, Sri Lanka has finally agreed to tour Pakistan and play a T20I at Lahore eight years after the terrorist attack, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) confirmed. Recently, Pakistan hosted a World XI team in their backyard but that was not an international match. But finally, it seems international cricket will return to Pakistan. The 2009 attack on Sri Lanka team bus saw six police officers and two civilians killed and six Sri Lanka players injured. International teams decided against going to Pakistan and risk their lives and that not only hit Pakistan’s homegrown cricket but the revenues of the sport also dropped. Zimbabwe made a very brief tour of Pakistan in 2015 but since then, Pakistan had made the United Arab Emirates stadiums their adopted home.
The SLC in their statement made it very clear that both the governments were consulted and security evaluations were made before taking the big decision to send the Sri Lankan players to Pakistan.
“Having been fully satisfied with the stringent security measures in place, the SLC ExCo unanimously decided to play the 3rd T20 in Lahore on the 29th October,” the SLC said in the statement.
The first two matches in the Twenty20 series will be played in the United Arab Emirates. Sri Lanka will play just one T20I in Pakistan on October 29.
Pakistan team would be looking forward to hosting Sri Lanka to the best of their abilities so that they can fully resume hosting international teams in their backyard.
Pakistan recently won the ICC Champions Trophy in England by beating India in the finals.
Pakistan win by 32 runs and take 2-0 lead! Sri Lanka 187 all-out (48) Tharanga 112 Not Out, Vandersay 22: Shadab 3/47 v Pak 219/9 #PAKvSL pic.twitter.com/8XpzGuG2v1
— Sri Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) October 16, 2017
The second ODI was played recently between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Abu Dhabi and the latter won the low-scoring encounter by 32 runs.