Pakistan will host Sri Lanka in three one-day internationals and the same number of Twenty20 internationals starting in September before two tests as part of the World Test Championship in December, the cricket boards of both countries said on Friday.
Pakistan are preparing to host their first test on home soil since a 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore that left six security personnel and two civilians dead while six players were injured.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) agreed to bring forward the limited-overs leg of the split series and pushed back the two tests, which were originally set to take place in October.
Ahead of the series, Several senior Sri Lankan players have expressed their reservations over travelling to Pakistan for the upcoming one-day international and T20 series.
Earlier, there were reports that Sri Lanka One-Day International (ODI) captain Dimuth Karunarate is reluctant to tour Pakistan for the upcoming limited-overs series later this month.
According to a Sri Lanka daily, Karunaratne has already communicated his apprehensions regarding the tour to the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Sri Lanka Twenty20 (T20) captain Lasith Malinga is also expected to follow Karunaratne’s lead and back out of the tour.
The newspaper further claimed that the SLC approved the tour to Pakistan without consulting the senior players. Sri Lanka players are concerned regarding the duration of the tour as no other international team has stayed for this long in Pakistan since a decade.
Now according to a report in BBC Urdu, senior players including ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne, T20 captain Lasith Malinga and former captain Angelo Mathews have refused to travel to Pakistan for the series starting later this month.
On the other hand, the SLC officials are confident that they will be able to convince the players to travel to Pakistan and have held a meeting to listen to players concerns in this regard on September 9.
“Several players have informed me that they are not willing to go to Pakistan. SLC have to talk to them. I am also expecting travel with the team to Pakistan to give confidence to them” Sports Minister on Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan
— Azzam Ameen (@AzzamAmeen) August 30, 2019
Sri Lankan Sports Minister Harin Fernando said that families of the players were concerned about the security situation.
He added: Sri Lankan cricket authorities will meet with the players to assure them and get them to travel to Pakistan. A formal meeting in this regard is expected to take place on September 9.
“I have been told by some of the players that they cannot participate after their families raised concerns”, Fernando said. “I have even told the players that I am ready to travel with them to Pakistan.”
Pakistan and Sri Lanka are scheduled to play three ODI matches at Karachi’s National Stadium on September 27, 29 and October 2. Three T20Is will take place at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on October 5, 7 and 9.
Sri Lanka will host Pakistan for two World Test Championships in late December.
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