Pakistan’s efforts to organise the final T20I against Sri Lanka at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore has hit a roadblock after reports emerged that the Lions are reluctant to make the trip to Pakistan.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had agreed a deal in principal with Cricket Sri Lanka (SLC) to stage the final T20I in Lahore as opposed to the UAE where the two sides are currently battling it out in the Test series.
However, according to reports, the islanders will take a final call on the matter after the visit of an independent security expert to assess the situation in Pakistan later this week.
PCB chief Najam Sethi had hoped that the successful visit of the ICC World XI in September would open the doors for more international sides to tour the country.
Reports that Sri Lankan players want to help Pakistan at this moment but most of them are not in favour of playing a T20I in Lahore #Cricket
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) October 8, 2017
It is believed that several of the Sri Lankan players want to help Pakistan in its quest to bring back international cricket but will wait for approval from the independent security committee before making up their decision.
“We will be meeting ICC officials this week and will get their views on the current security situation in Pakistan. If they provide a positive feedback, we will send a representative to assess the situation again before making a final decision,” SLC CEO Ashley de Silva told the Sunday Times.
Meanwhile Pakistan’s selection committee head Inzamam-ul-Haq remains positive that the proposed match at Lahore will go ahead.
The former Pakistan skipper lamented the fact that the country has to play its home matches in a neutral venue and hopes for an improvement within the next two years.
“It is very sad that we have to play our home games in neutral venues. It is damaging our cricket as our players don’t get the chance to play in our conditions, in front of our fans. It is very sad for Pakistan,” Inzamam told Cricbuzz.
“It is very tough on the players and we have suffered a lot. Hopefully things will get better in another two years’ time,” he added.
“I would like to thank the Sri Lankan board for agreeing to play the game. Apart from that last tour, whenever the Sri Lankans have come to Pakistan they have liked the country and done well. Similarly the Pakistani people also love the Sri Lankan team.
“Once the Sri Lankan team comes, hopefully in the next two or three years things will improve and Pakistan will regularly host matches,” the Pakistan great added.
The two sides will play a five-match ODI series in the UAE after the conclusion of the Tests with the third T20I at Lahore earmarked for October 29 in Lahore.
South Africa’s young pace sensation Kagiso Rabada breached numerous milestones en route to helping his side complete an utterly comprehensive victory by an innings and 254 runs in the second Test at Bloemfontein.
The 22-year-old, who has played as many Tests in his career so far, became the fifth youngest bowler to attain 100 wickets in the longer format after his second five-wicket haul of the match put the South Asians to the sword inside three days.
In doing so, Rabada also became the highest wicket taker in the calendar year as he went past the 50-wicket mark to bring his tally for 2017 to 54.
The Proteas bowler is now ahead of the spinner’s association of Rangana Herath, Nathan Lyon, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the wicket-takers lists for 2017, the only pacer in the top five.
Rabada has played 10 Tests in the calendar year and taken 54 wickets at a fantastic average of 20.96, the lowest among the top five.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) October 8, 2017
His South Africa teammate Keshav Maharaj has also continued his excellent start so for in his Test career as he made it to the sixth spot in the list with 43 scalps to his name.
This was Rabada’s third 10-wicket haul in his fledgling career so far and he continues to lay claim to the mantle of the South Africa’s next pace spearhead amid the injuries to Dale Steyn.
The right-arm pacer had claimed 16 wickets in the Test series defeat to England prior to Bangladesh’s visit. He has claimed 25 wickets in the two Tests again Bangladesh so far to further underline his emergence as the next big thing in fast-bowling.
Pakistan’s pace spearhead Mohammad Amir was ruled out of the five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka after suffering a shin injury during the ongoing second Test in Dubai on Saturday.
Pakistan Cricket Board said the 25-year-old had an MRI scan, after which he was advised to rest for two to three weeks.
“Amir has been ruled out of the ODI series against Sri Lanka due to a stress related injury in the right shin. The fast bowler has been advised two to three weeks rest after he underwent an MRI scan,” said a PCB release.
Amir walked off the field on Friday during the first day’s play in the second Test, but was cleared to bowl on Saturday.
📰 Mohammad Amir ruled out of ODI series against Sri Lanka due to shin injury https://t.co/H7Xn1buxve
— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) October 7, 2017
He managed to bowl just three overs though, 19.3 in the match, before once again limping off the field.
Pakistan were 51-0 without loss after Sri Lanka piled up 482 in their first innings. The tourists lead the series 1-0.
Amir will be replaced by another left-arm paceman, Usman Shinwari.
The first one-day international will be played in Dubai on Friday, followed by two in Abu Dhabi (October 16 and 18) and the last two in Sharjah (October 20 and 23).
The two teams will also play three Twenty20 internationals, the last in Lahore on October 29 – subject to security clearance.