As Karachi gears up to host its first ODI in ten years when Pakistan take on Sri Lanka on Friday, Sarfaraz Ahmed, on the eve of the series opener, thanked the visitors for touring Pakistan.
While ten Sri Lanka players, including the likes of Lasith Malinga, Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews chose to skip the tour due to security concerns, the Island nation, after receiving a go-ahead from their board and the government, arrived in Pakistan.
Sarfaraz, who will be leading the side in his hometown, said it will be historic moment as Karachi hosts the series opener.
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“History will be made on Friday when Karachi will host the first ODI,” said Sarfaraz.
The Pakistani skipper also thanked the Lahiru Thirimanne-led Sri Lankan team for touring the country.
“We must thank the Sri Lankan team for touring us,” added Sarfaraz.
Following the terrorist attack on the team bus of the touring Sri Lankan side in 2009 in Lahore, top international teams have been reluctant to tour Pakistan.
After this Pakistan were forced to play their home matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Six years after the attack, Zimbabwe, in 2015, became the first team to travel Pakistan. In 2017, a World XI side toured Pakistan for a T2o series before Sri Lanka played a one-off Twenty20 in the same year. In 2018, West Indies toured Pakistan and played a T20I series in Karachi.
The Sri Lankan side will face Pakistan in three ODIs, starting September 27, which will be followed by three Twenty20 internationals.
Schedule of Pakistan-Sri Lanka:
1st ODI: Karachi, September 27 (Friday)
2nd ODI: Karachi, September 29 (Sunday)
3rd ODI: Karachi, October 2 (Wednesday)
1st T20I: Lahore, October 5 (Saturday)
2nd T20I: Lahore, October 7 (Monday)
3rd T20I: Lahore, October 9 (Wednesday)