Pakistan's cricket team left for Sri Lanka on a 45-day tour with coach Intikhab Alam promising that his players will translate their World Twenty20 triumph into a forceful Test performance.
The players left in two different batches from Karachi and Lahore but were scheduled to assemble in Dubai en route to Colombo where they will feature in a three-day practice game starting on June 29.
Skipper Younis Khan left from Karachi along with Umar Gul, Fawad Alam, Faisal Iqbal and Khurram Manzoor while the other players flew out of Lahore on Saturday.
Intikhab said his batsmen will have to perform well to get good results on the tour that concludes on Aug 12. He stressed the fitness of players will play a key role in the series, as the weather in Sri Lanka will be hot, making playing conditions difficult.
"Hot and humid weather poses a great challenge to visiting teams," he said. "But our players are fully committed and motivated and I'm looking forward to a forceful performance from them in the series," Intikhab said.
Replying to a query about controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar, Intikhab said he needs to focus on his fitness to return to the national team.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal told reporters that fans would get quality cricket because both teams have world-class players.
Senior all-rounder Abdul Razzaq termed Pakistan as favorite for the series and vowed to do his best.
Pakistan will play three Test matches, five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 International during its first full-length tour since the 2007 tour of India.