We are thankful to Pakistan for the warm welcome: Thisara Perera

We are thankful to Pakistan for the warm welcome: Thisara Perera

Pakistan will play Sri Lanka in the third T20I in Lahore.

Thisara Perera
Thisara Perera. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Eight years after the horrific terror strike at the Sri Lankan team bus, Pakistan is ready to host the same opponent in Lahore, at the Gaddafi stadium in the 3rd T20I match. Apart from Zimbabwe no other Test playing nation has visited the country since the 2009 incident. Recently, PCB invited a World XI side featuring some of the popular cricketers around to play a 3-match T20I series in Lahore. The series went off well and that gave Pakistan a real boost in confidence.

Sri Lanka’s limited-overs skipper Upul Tharanga and veteran pacer Lasith Malinga ruled themselves out of the Lahore T20I due to security concerns. And therefore all-rounder Thisara Perera, who is Lanka’s one of the most experienced cricketers, will wear the captain’s armband.

Perera happy to be in Pakistan

“Its nice to be in Pakistan again,” said Perera, who was part of the Independence Cup, featuring the World XI side, led by Faf du Plessis. We are thankful for a warm welcome and will do our best to entertain the crowd with some good cricket.” Sri Lanka’s sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President Thilanga Sumathipala are also with the team.

“We are thankful to the Sri Lankan team for coming to Pakistan and I request the fans to support both the teams during the match,” said Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, whose team also arrived from Dubai early Sunday.

Security beef up for the Lahore T20I

The visiting side was greeted by fully armed elite commandos, Inspector-General of Punjab police, the Lahore Mayor, high ranking Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials and other government dignitaries on the runaway and they were taken to the team hotel in bulletproof vehicles. It has also been learned that mobile phone services have been temporarily suspended in and around the hotel location.