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.
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 other eight who opted out were Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal and Dinesh Chandimal.
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.
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