KARACHI: The opening ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the National Stadium Karachi has been cancelled because of torrential rain in Karachi.
Due to the continuous rain on Friday, the stadium got filled with water.
Initially, it was planned by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that despite the rain the match would carry on and if necessary, a few overs can be cut off.
Later, due to excessive water that gathered in the stadium due to downpour, the match couldn’t get a nod from the officials.
Officials told media that water has gathered throughout the field and the boundary has vanished beneath water entirely.
Officials also told media that despite every attempt made by the staff to clear the water, continuous downpour made it impossible to even get the ground ready for a 20-overs-a-side match.
It is the first instance that an ODI match has been abandoned at the National Stadium due to rain without a ball being bowled.
Sri Lanka’s national cricket squad arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday expressing confidence in security promises by the hosts despite reports that the team could be targeted by militants.
Ten senior players citing security concerns have opted out of the tour, comprising three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches, beginning on Friday.
But the rest arrived in Karachi late Tuesday and were whisked to their hotel under heavy security.
The captain of the Twenty20 squad, Dasun Shanaka, said he had no misgivings about returning to Pakistan after they played a Twenty20 international in Lahore in October 2017, their first since the 2009 attack on the team while they were in Lahore.
“I have been there before,” Shanaka told reporters just before the team left Colombo, where they were blessed by saffron-robed Buddhist monks.
“I am satisfied with the security arranged for us and I am happy to lead my team to Pakistan. We hope to give a good fight to our very strong hosts.”
ODI skipper Lahiru Thirimanne said he also had no concerns and they had been given assurances of a very high degree of protection in Pakistan, usually reserved for visits by heads of state.
Sri Lanka’s cricket board received the all-clear from the defence ministry last week to go ahead with the tour after establishing that there was no threat.