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'Regret Not Coming for Shorter Formats' - Karunaratne Feels 'Really Safe' in Pakistan

(Image: ICC)

(Image: ICC)

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne has said he regrets pulling out of the ODI tour of Pakistan in September this year, stressing he feels safe in the country in the ongoing Test tour.

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne has said he regrets pulling out of the ODI tour of Pakistan in September this year, stressing he feels safe in the country in the ongoing Test tour.

“Now I do regret not coming for the shorter formats," Karunaratne was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo ahead of the second Test in Karachi. “At that time it was a really hard decision to take, because I had heard and read lots of things about Pakistan on news and social media - not positive things.

“But the guys who came here before gave really good comments and that’s why all the seniors decided to go and play a good Test series. Now I think I should have come and played the one-dayers."

Sri Lanka sent a second string limited-overs squad for the earlier tour, with Karunaratne and other senior players staying away. They have, however, traveled to Pakistan for the Tests. The first Test in Rawalpindi ended in a draw.

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The PCB also confirmed that an MCC team led by Kumar Sangakkara will tour Pakistan in February 2020. Bangladesh are also scheduled to tour Pakistan shortly, and the board is also hoping to host the entire Pakistan Super League at home.

Karunaratne said he can’t appeal to Bangladesh, but said he feels secure.

“I can’t appeal to Bangladesh about whether they should come, but what I can say is that for me it feels really safe," Karunaratne said. “The guys who are giving us security, they are giving us not just 100% but more than 100%. That’s why we feel really good. We went out for dinner as well. I can say that Pakistan is now safe for cricket."

first published:December 19, 2019, 10:36 IST