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Sri Lanka Cricketers Arrive in Pakistan

by AFP
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The Sri Lanka cricket team prays as Buddhist monks chant for their success during a ceremony in Colombo ahead of their trip to Pakistan. Ishara S. Kodikara—AFP

The first match of tournament will take place on Friday in Karachi

Sri Lanka’s depleted national cricket squad arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday, expressing confidence in security promises by the hosts despite reports militants could target the team.

The Sri Lanka team were attacked in Lahore in 2009 and since then most international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country, leaving Pakistan to play nearly all their “home” games in the United Arab Emirates.

Ten senior players citing security concerns have opted out of the tour, comprising three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches, beginning on Friday. But the rest arrived in Karachi later on Tuesday and were whisked to their hotel under heavy security.

The captain of the Twenty20 squad, Dasun Shanaka, said he had no misgivings about returning to Pakistan after they played a Twenty20 international in Lahore in October 2017, their first since the 2009 attack. “I have been there before,” Shanaka told reporters just before the team left Colombo, where they were blessed by saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

“I am satisfied with the security arranged for us and I am happy to lead my team to Pakistan. We hope to give a good fight to our very strong hosts.”

ODI skipper Lahiru Thirimanne said he also had no concerns and they had been given assurances of a very high degree of protection in Pakistan, usually reserved for visits by heads of state.

Sri Lanka’s cricket board received the all-clear from the defense ministry last week to go ahead with the tour after establishing that there was no threat.

The 2009 attack left six players injured when gunmen attacked their bus. Six Pakistan policemen and two civilians were killed.

Tour schedule:

One-day internationals (all in Karachi): Sept. 27, 29, Oct. 2.

Twenty20 internationals (all Lahore): Oct. 5, 7, 9

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1 comment

Pak Mega Place (www.pakmegaplace.com) September 25, 2019 - 11:36 am

The efforts of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Government of Pakistan cannot be neglected at this supreme occasion, with their day and night hard work the tour became practically possible. Sri Lanka will stay in Karachi till 2nd October before they move to Lahore for the T20I series.

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