Pakistan is set to break out of the test match wilderness for 10 years and play at their home grounds as Sri Lanka confirmed to play World Test Championship matches in Rawalpindi and Karachi next month.
The two-test matches are scheduled to be played in Rawalpindi and Karachi on December 11 and 19, respectively.
The two-test matches rubber was originally listed to be played in October at a neutral venue while the ODI series was scheduled to be played in December but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had requested the SLC to swap the rubbers and take a decision on the venues after assessing the security situation in Pakistan through an ODI and T20 series in Karachi and Lahore.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) confirmed the two-Test series at Pakistan’s home venues as part of their Future Tours Programme (FTP) commitment following a highly successful white-ball cricket tour.
“This is fabulous news for Pakistan and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world. We are thankful to SLC for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game, which will contribute significantly in the PCB’s efforts and drive for regular resumption of international cricket, and help in its endeavors of attracting new audiences and younger generation”, PCB Director – International Cricket, Zakir Khan said.
“Now that the itinerary has been confirmed, we will shift our focus on series preparations to ensure we deliver arrangements as per our very high standards. This series is part of our cricket celebrations and we will leave no stone unturned in putting up a show which is a memorable one for the players, officials, fans and media,” he added.
SLC Chief Executive Ashley de Silva, in a statement, said: “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”, adding “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”.
The SLC chief executive anticipated exciting and competitive two-test series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka and expressed the hope the fans will thoroughly enjoy the quality of cricket that will be on display. Following is the tour schedule: 1st Test from December 11-15 at Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi and 2nd Test from December 19-23 at National Stadium, Karachi.—APP