‘This match feels longer than rest of the tour’ – Sri Lankan squad underlines importance of Lahore T20

Sri Lanka's Upul Tharanga leaves the field after being dismissed by Pakistan's Muhammad Hafeez during the first one day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at Dubai International Stadium in Dubai on October 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

LAHORE – Putting the stopwatches on immediately after landing in Pakistan for Sunday’s important match, the Sri Lankan squad underlined the importance of the Lahore T20 in a hurriedly called press conference.

“This is much more than cricket,” skipper Thisara Perera said during the press conference. “Trust me we mean it when we say it,” he added.

Sri Lanka are in Lahore for the third and final T20 of the ongoing series, in what is a fly-in fly-out arrangement. The T20 series comes after a 5-match ODI series and 2 Tests in the UAE spanning over a month.

“This match feels longer than all those matches we’ve played in the past over a month – all those five ODIs, 2 Tests, 2 T20s – all of them combined,” said Perera in a press conference, while repeatedly tapping on the stopwatch on his mobile phone.

To further underscore the importance of today’s match the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday announced that every time a team says Yes to touring Pakistan, that Yes would also count as a separate cricket series.

It is yet to be confirmed if that Yes would count as a Test, ODI or T20 series.