Pakistan are set to host its first Test series in over a decade after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) gave the green light to a two-match series to be played in Rawalpindi and Karachi in December.
Pakistan had recently played host to Sri Lanka in three ODIs and as many T20Is in Karachi and Lahore respectively. However, doubts had hovered over the venues for the Test-leg of the series with SLC initially hesitant to play on Pakistan soil.
On Thursday, SLC chief executive Ashely de Silva confirmed that the islanders will be touring Pakistan again for the Test series.
“We are pleased to confirm our return visit to Pakistan as, based on our earlier visit, we are comfortable and convinced conditions are suitable and conducive for Test cricket,” the SLC official said in a statement.
“We also believe all cricket playing countries should host international cricket at home and in this relation we are happy to play our part in complete resumption of international cricket in Pakistan, which not only has a proud history but has been one of our biggest supporters in our early days as a cricket nation.
Incidentally, Sri Lanka were the last team to play a Test match on Pakistan soil in 2009. It was during the same tour that their team bus came under a terrorist attack in Lahore, following which international cricket came to a near standstill in Pakistan for the greater part of a decade.
In the recent limited-overs tour of Pakistan, several senior players including ODI and T20I skippers Dimuth Karunaratne and Lasith Malinga had pulled out after citing security concerns. However, recent reports have claimed that a near full-strength Sri Lankan Test squad could make its way to Pakistan after a positive feedback from the players who toured the country recently.
The first Test between the two sides is scheduled to begin in Rawalpindi on December 11 while the final clash will get underway in Karachi on December 19.
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