Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: SLC vows to play third T20 match in Lahore despite top players pulling out

The Twenty20 final in Lahore will be the first time a Sri Lanka squad has played in Pakistan since gunmen staged a deadly assault on their team bus in March 2009.

AFP, Oct,22 2017

Colombo: Sri Lanka's cricket board on Sunday vowed to press ahead with a controversial tour of Pakistan next week despite top players pulling out and speculation the coach may not join the squad.

File image of Sri Lankan team. AP

File image of Sri Lankan team. AP

The Twenty20 final in Lahore will be the first time a Sri Lanka squad has played in Pakistan since gunmen staged a deadly assault on their team bus in March 2009.

Sri Lanka Cricket is pushing ahead with its tour despite ongoing concerns about security and top players being left out of the squad for the three-match series.

The board has played down speculation in local media that coach Nic Pothas and team physiotherapist Nirmalan Dhanabalasingham will also not travel to Pakistan.

"Nic has not told me he is not going," Sri Lanka cricket boss Thilanga Sumathipala told AFP.

"We are going to be in Pakistan for just over a day, but it is very important for us to go there and revive international cricket in South Asia."

No top international side has played in Pakistan since the 2009 attack, which left eight people dead and seven visiting team members and support staff injured.

Sumathipala, who will join the squad for the match, said the board had accepted security assessments conducted by Sri Lankan and Pakistani authorities.

Several players who had said they would not travel to Pakistan have been dropped from the series, which opens in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday and concludes with the final in Lahore.

Skipper Upul Tharanga, fast bowler Lasith Malinga, bowler Suranga Lakmal, batsmen Niroshan Dickwella and Chamara Kapugedara were left out of the squad. Lakmal and Kapugedara survived the 2009 attack.

On Saturday, Sri Lanka made 28-year-old all-rounder Thisara Perera the captain of the T20 squad.

He had toured Pakistan as a member of a World XI for a three-match Twenty20 international series played in Lahore last month.

The World XI series was part of Pakistani efforts to bring international cricket back to the country.

Pakistan hosted Zimbabwe for a five-match limited overs series in 2015 but top teams have refused to tour there, forcing Pakistan to play home matches in neutral venues in the UAE.

Pakistan currently leads the five-match one-day series 4-0 with the last match in Sharjah on Monday.

Published Date: Oct 22, 2017 | Updated Date: Oct 22, 2017




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4969 124
2 South Africa 3888 111
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
6 Sri Lanka 4058 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 6386 120
2 India 6680 119
3 England 6646 117
4 New Zealand 6550 115
5 Australia 6143 112
6 Pakistan 4875 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 2436 128
2 Pakistan 2919 122
3 India 3385 121
4 England 2029 119
5 West Indies 2538 115
6 South Africa 2238 112