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Sri Lanka to Play Six Limited-Overs Matches in Pakistan Next Month

Sri Lanka will return to Pakistan after a nearly two-year absence for three short-form cricket games later this year, the sports minister said Thursday.

Cricketnext Staff |AFP |August 23, 2019, 9:17 PM IST
Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews en route to scoring a fifty against Bangladesh in the third ODI. (Pic: AP)

Sri Lanka will return to Pakistan after a nearly two-year absence for three short-form cricket games later this year, the sports minister said on Thursday (August 22).

"We are not in a position to send the team to Pakistan to play the two Tests, but we will be in Pakistan for about eight days to play the ODIs or the T20 matches," Harin Fernando told reporters in Colombo.

The SLC announced on Friday (August 23) that their team will play three ODIs and three T20s between September 27 and October 9, while the World Test Championship games have been moved to December. Karachi will host the ODIs while the T20s will be staged at Lahore, according to a SLC release.

“The PCB is pleased with the outcome of its discussions with Sri Lanka Cricket, which has supported Pakistan in its efforts and endeavours for the complete revival of international cricket,” PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said.

Citing safety fears, Fernando said two Tests could instead be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where Pakistan has held many of its home series. “The safety and security of its players is the responsibility of the SLC, which it takes very seriously. If there had been any doubts, the SLC would not have gone ahead with this arrangement,” SLC president Shammi Silva said.

International teams have stayed away from Pakistan over security concerns. In October 2017, Sri Lanka played a T20 match in Lahore for the first time since a terror attack near the same venue in March 2009.

That attack left eight people dead and seven Sri Lanka players and staff injured. Since then Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Kenya have ventured to play short series in Pakistan between February 2013 and May 2015.

In March 2017, the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was held in Lahore which was followed by a World XI tour later that year. The Lankans returned to Pakistan for the first time since 2009 after agreeing to play the last T20 of an away series in Lahore in October 2017.

The 2018 final of the PSL was once again held in Karachi which was followed by West Indies agreeing to play three T20s in Karachi in April 2018.

(With inputs from AFP)

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