Sri Lanka ‘might’ play one T20 in Lahore


According to an official of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, Sri Lanka may play one T20 match in Lahore, if given security clearance.

It was originally expected that Sri Lanka would play all three T20 internationals in Pakistan, including one in Lahore. The tournament will start with a day-and-night Test on September 28 in the United Arab Emirates, where all the other matches are scheduled to be played. The Test series will have two matches and will end on October 10, added the Sri Lankan Cricket Board.

The two teams will also play five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, a board official told AFP. “The exact itinerary will be released shortly,” the official said on Monday, adding that one of the Tests to be played in the UAE would be Sri Lanka’s first with the pink ball used in day-and-night Tests.

Sri Lanka Cricket announced a 25-member provisional squad led by Dinesh Chandimal for the Test series. Last month, Sri Lanka’s cricket board approved a tour to Pakistan, eight years after a deadly militant attack on the team brought top international games there to a standstill.

Leading cricket nations have shunned playing in Pakistan since the attack, in which gunmen ambushed the Sri Lankan team bus en route to the Lahore stadium, wounding at least seven players.

Since 2009, the only international team to visit Pakistan is Zimbabwe, who played five limited-overs games in Lahore in 2015. Pakistan plays their ‘home’ internationals in the United Arab Emirates.

But there were hopeful signs when Pakistan successfully staged the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) – the rest of which was played in UAE – under heavy security in March.

Addressing the Asian Cricket Council in Colombo last month, Sri Lanka Cricket Chief Thilanga Sumathipala called for an end to Pakistan’s isolation and urged countries to play there.