PAK v SL 2019

PCB finalised schedule for Test series against Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan team is all set to tour Pakistan in December. The Island nation will play two Test matches on Pakistan soil.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has reportedly sent to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) its proposed schedule for the impending Test series between the two nations’ cricket teams.

According to sources close to the matter, the PCB has proposed that the two-Test series gets played between December 11 and 23, with the first match to be staged in Rawalpindi and the second in Karachi.

Lahore was not chosen as a venue for the Test match due to weather in the city in December which would likely affect the match.

Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium last hosted five-day cricket when India toured Pakistan in 2004. Photo: Zameen.com

The series, a part of the ICC World Test Championship, had been in doubt for some time despite the Sri Lankan team having visited Pakistan recently for two limited overs series.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan players and officials were happy with the security arrangements after recently concluded limited-overs series. Sri Lanka had sent a second-string side after the main players had pulled out due to security issues.

The recent development suggests that things are heading in the right direction. The Sri Lankan board purportedly wants the series wrapped up before Christmas.

SLC President Shammi Silva had said: “The safety and security of its players is the responsibility of the SLC, which it takes very seriously. If there had been any doubts, the SLC would not have gone ahead with this arrangement [limited-overs series] that we envisage will improve the players’ confidence and trust level and will also be critical when we start discussions on the schedule of the Test matches.”

Pakistan Cricket Board has given its brief on the security arrangements to the Sri Lankan board. Thus, the Pakistan board is hopeful that they would be given a green signal by the Sri Lankan officials.

A final schedule for the series will only be made after the two sides reach an agreement, which sources say should not take too long. Most foreign series are preceded by practice and warm-up matches but the chances of that happening here are low.

Pakistan last hosted a Test match on home soil in 2009 against Sri Lanka. The last completed Test to be played in Pakistan took place in Karachi.

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

Since then most international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country, leaving Pakistan to play nearly all their “home” games in the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Proposed Test Series Schedule:

First Test: December 11-15, Rawalpindi

Second Test: December 19-23, Karachi

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