Sri Lanka all set to visit Pakistan for T20I clash in September

This will act as a huge boost to Pakistan cricket, who have struggled in the past in convincing teams to travel to their country.

Nuwan Kulasekara
Sri Lankan cricketer Nuwan Kulasekara (C) celebrates with teammates. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala wants his team to tour Pakistan and play a one-off T20I game. Since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team’s bus, Zimbabwe were the only team to have travelled to Pakistan. They played a 5-ODI match series in Lahore, in the year 2015.

This comes in as a huge boost for the cricket loving nation of Pakistan, as they have been waiting for competitive mouth-watering contests since a long time. Speaking after the ACC Annual General Meeting in Colombo, he added that if all the plans fall in place, the series could well take place in September, upon the conclusion of India’s tour of Sri Lanka. He added that Sri Lanka have three T20 games against Pakistan in September, and they had like to play one in Lahore.


2009 Terrorist attacks

Pakistan have considered the United Arab Emirates, as their home ground since the 2009 attack. However, they hosted Australia in England in 2010. Sumathipala said as per the quotes on Hindustan Times, “I am keen to take my team to Pakistan. We have had our security experts visit and make an assessment, and things look positive with things improving all over the country and especially Lahore being cleared. We have three T20I games coming up against Pakistan in September and we would like to play at least one of those games in Lahore.”

Hosting the ICC event

Pakistan are hoping to host the ICC World XI series, which led the board to recall its contracted players, who were participating in  CPL and English county. Unfortunately, in June, a series against Afghanistan was cancelled after the Kabul Attack.

He also added that it is the right time to show support towards Pakistan, as one cricket family of Asia, “There is always risk – there were two attacks in London during the Champions Trophy, but cricket continued under the security assurances of the ICC, so we too must be as accommodating and understanding as possible with our members and extend our fullest support to them as the cricketing family of Asia,” Sumathipala added.

“Sri Lanka suffered through three decades of terrorism and war and at one stage no one wanted to come here – Pakistan stood by us then, as did India.”