PAK v SL 2019

Lahiru Thirimanne speaks on security arrangements in Pakistan

Unlike most of his teammates, Lahiru Thirimanne seems determined to go to Pakistan for the upcoming limited-overs tour.

The Islanders are scheduled to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in Pakistan with the series starting on September 27. However, the series has already lost some considerable firepower after ten Sri Lankan players pulled out due to security reasons.

There is still no clarity over the tour as Sri Lanka recently received a threat letter, stating about an attack on the team in Pakistan. Sri Lanka have decided to reassess the security while ICC is also keeping an eye on all the arrangement. But amidst all these, Lahiru Thirimanne seems to be satisfied with the security in the country.

Sri Lanka stand-in One-day International (ODI) captain Lahiru Thirimanne has expressed his confidence in the security plan for the upcoming limited-overs series tour to Pakistan.

While speaking in an interview, Thirimanne said that his family is on board with his decision to tour.

“My complete focus is on cricket, not security,” he said. “SLC shared the security plan with us and we are satisfied with it. I have told the same thing to my family and they don’t have any concerns.”

“If your family doesn’t approve, it becomes difficult to take the final call. Hence, we should respect the player’s decision to pull out of the tour,” he added.

Lahiru Thirimanne’s family is on board with his decision to tour Pakistan. Photo: Instagram

The left-hand batsman is confident about his team’s strength in the absence of several senior players.

“I am taking it as just another series and not bothered about the pressure of captaincy,” he said. “We still have a balanced squad with us, despite missing some key players. If we play to our potential, we can win the series.”

Earlier, ten Sri Lankan players, including T20I skipper Lasith Malinga and ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne, pulled out of the tour citing security concerns.

The players who have pulled out are T20 skipper Lasith Malinga, former captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella.

Following a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009, a majority of international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country.

Sri Lankan officials and players prepare to board into a helicopter at Gaddafi Stadium after the shooting in 2009.— AP

The tour has been seen as another step towards reviving international cricket in Pakistan after years of isolation.

Sri Lanka will be touring Pakistan to play three One-day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 International (T20I) matches, scheduled to take place from September 27 to October 9, 2019.

This will be Sri Lanka’s second tour of Pakistan since the 2009 attack.

The Sri Lankans returned to Pakistan for a T20I in Lahore in October 2017 with a squad led by Thisara Perera, who has decided to stay out of the tour this time.

Sri Lanka is also scheduled to play two Test matches against Pakistan, but the dates and the venue are yet to be announced.

ODI Series Schedule:

1st ODI: 27 September, National Stadium Karachi

2nd OD: 29 September, National Stadium Karachi

3rd ODI: 2 October, National Stadium Karachi

T20I Series Schedule:

1st T20I: 5 October, Gaddafi Stadium Lahore

2nd T20I: 7 October, Gaddafi Stadium Lahore

3rd T20I: 9 October, Gaddafi Stadium Lahore

 

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