Pakistan’s long wait for Test Cricket action at home will finally be over in December when they take on Sri Lanka as part of the ongoing World Test Championship in a two-Test series.
The first Test will be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi from December 11-15, while the Karachi National Stadium will host the second Test from December 19-23, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced Thursday (November 14).
Pakistan’s last match at home was against Sri Lanka in Lahore in March 2009. Nonetheless, the match was marred by a ghastly terrorist attack on the team bus of Sri Lanka. Since then, international cricket did not find its footing in Pakistan, and the upcoming series will be a huge shot in the arm for the PCB’s bid to bring back international cricket to their country.
For a limited-over series, a second-string Sri Lankan side recently visited Pakistan, with the security measures in place.
According to the original schedule, in October, Sri Lanka was to play Test matches and then return to Pakistan in December for the limited-over games, but the swap was made to allow visitors to evaluate the situation.
SLC chief executive Ashley de Silva 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. 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 the 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.”
Zakir Khan, PCB Director- International Cricket, was delighted with Sri Lanka’s decision to agree to visit Pakistan for the Test series and said that high safety standards will be in place to ensure the smooth running of the series.
“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 Sri Lanka Cricket 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 a regular resumption of international cricket, and help in its endeavors of attracting new audiences and the younger generation,” 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.