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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Pakistan to host Sri Lanka for two Tests in December

The first Test will be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium from 11-15 December, while the second Test will be held at the National Stadium from 19-23 December.

cricket Updated: Nov 14, 2019 12:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah Ul Haq.
File image of Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah Ul Haq.(AP)
         

Test cricket will return to Pakistan after a gap of more than 10 years as Sri Lanka have agreed to play two Tests in December, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Thursday. The first Test will be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium from 11-15 December, while the second Test will be held at the National Stadium from 19-23 December. Originally, Sri Lanka were scheduled to play Tests in October and then return in December for white-ball cricket, but the matches were swapped to provide them the opportunity to assess the situation before deciding on the Test venues.

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The Test series schedule was confirmed on Thursday after Cricket Sri Lanka gave their thumbs-up to fulfill their Future Tours Programme commitment following a successful visit for white-ball cricket.

“This is a fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world. We are thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game, which will contribute significantly in the PCB’s efforts and drive for regular resumption of international cricket, and help in its endeavours of attracting new audiences and younger generation,” PCB Director Zakir Khan was quoted as saying in the release.

“We are pleased to confirm our return visit to Pakistan as, based on our earlier visit, we are comfortable and convinced conditions are suitable and conducive for Test cricket. We also believe all cricket playing countries should host international cricket at home and in this relation we are happy to play our part in complete resumption of international cricket in Pakistan, which not only has a proud history but has been one of our biggest supporters in our early days as a cricket nation,” SLC chief executive Ashley de Silva said.

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The latest series is an attempt by PCB to bring international cricket back into the country following the 2009 attacks. Teams have been reluctant to visit Pakistan since a deadly militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.

Zimbabwe were the first team to tour Pakistan for six years when they played two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals in Lahore in 2015. That was followed by a World XI tour and home T20 matches against Sri Lanka and the West Indies.