Pakistan to host Test series after 10 years: Details here
International cricket finally seems to be resuming in Pakistan, as the nation is set to host a Test series for the first time in 10 years. As per reports, Sri Lanka are all set to tour Pakistan for a two-Test series in December this year. Interestingly, they were also the last team to tour Pakistan for Tests, in 2009, prior to the terror attack.
Rawalpindi and Karachi to host Tests
While the recent three-match ODI series was held in Karachi, the T20Is were held in Lahore. As for the Tests, Rawalpindi has been chosen as the venue for the opening Test, while the second Test would be played in Karachi.
Lanka were initially reluctant to tour Pakistan
Initially, Lanka had refused to tour Pakistan in September-October for limited-overs series, as players were reluctant to tour, citing security concerns. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) assured the highest level of security, which was a success during the tour. Furthermore, the prolific performance by the visitors, too, helped in convincing them to tour the nation for the Test series as well.
SLC CEO confirms Lanka's tour of Pakistan for Tests
In a statement released by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), CEO Ashley de Silva expressed his satisfaction at the security level provided and confirmed that the tour would go ahead. "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," he said.
PCB director thankful to SLC
"We are thankful to SLC for agreeing to send their team for the longer version, which will contribute significantly to PCB's efforts and drive for the regular resumption of international cricket, and help in its endeavors of attracting new audiences," said PCB director Zakir Khan.
Decision to host Test in Rawalpindi raises eyebrows
While this is a welcome move for PCB, the decision to host a Test in Rawalpindi has raised some eyebrows, as the venue last hosted a Test back in 2004. Ideally, Lahore is given the foremost preference for any format of the game. However, the lack of daylight in the winter season, followed by seasonal smog, could be the reason for its ax.
Competitive cricket in Pakistan has suffered following 2009 terror attack
International cricket in Pakistan has been hit badly since 2009, following the horrific terror attack on the touring Lankan team. The attack saw seven Lankan players getting injured, along with assistant coach Paul Farbrace and umpire Ahsan Raza. The tour was immediately abandoned, while the tournaments involving international cricketers came to a standstill in Pakistan.