Big boost for Pakistan as Sri Lanka agree to play third T20 match of series in Lahore

Sport360 staff 21:39 16/10/2017
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Game on: Sri Lanka will return to the venue where their team was attacked in 2009.

Sri Lanka ended weeks of speculation by agreeing to play the third and final match of the T20 series against Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on October 29.

The team will thus return to the venue where their bus was attacked by terrorists in 2009, leaving at least seven players injured.

Two members of that Sri Lankan team who survived the attack – Suranga Lakmal and Chamara Kapugedara – are currently part of the ODI squad. Following the attack, international sides refused to tour Pakistan and the team had to move base to the UAE.

Since 2009, Zimbabwe have been the only team to tour Pakistan, playing five limited-overs games in Lahore in 2015.

Pakistan successfully staged the final of the PSL T20 tournament in Lahore under heavy security this March and then hosted a series against a World XI team featuring top foreign players, again in Lahore, last month.

The Sri Lankan board, in a statement, said the management arrived at the decision after careful consideration.

“SLC have evaluated the reports obtained together with the recommendation of the ICC – which successfully conducted the Independence Cup tournament in Lahore fielding a World XI Team – and 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.

“Accordingly, the selections committee of SLC will finalise a squad of 22 by the 17th October, and announce the final 15 on the 20th October. SLC president, Thilanga Sumathipala who will accompany the team to Lahore, extended his best wishes to PCB chairman Najam Sethi and his board on the occasion of this historic game, which is set to bring back bilateral cricket to Pakistan.”

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