Sri Lanka squad arrive in Pakistan for ODI, T20 series

September 24, 2019

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Sri Lanka's cricket captain Lahiru Thirimanne (C) speaks during a press in Colombo, prior to the team's departure for a cricket tour in Pakistan, on Tuesday. — AFP
Sri Lanka's cricket captain Lahiru Thirimanne (C) speaks during a press in Colombo, prior to the team's departure for a cricket tour in Pakistan, on Tuesday. — AFP

Sri Lanka's national cricket squad arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday expressing confidence in security promises by the hosts for the upcoming matches between the two countries.

Ten senior players citing security concerns have opted out of the tour, comprising three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches, beginning on Friday.

But the rest arrived in Karachi late Tuesday and were whisked to their hotel under heavy security.

The captain of the Twenty20 squad, Dasun Shanaka, said he had no misgivings about returning to Pakistan after they played a Twenty20 international in Lahore in October 2017, their first since the 2009 attack on the team.

“I have been there before,” Shanaka told reporters just before the team left Colombo, where they were blessed by saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

“I am satisfied with the security arranged for us and I am happy to lead my team to Pakistan. We hope to give a good fight to our very strong hosts.”

ODI skipper Lahiru Thirimanne said he also had no concerns and they had been given assurances of a very high degree of protection in Pakistan, usually reserved for visits by heads of state.

Sri Lanka's cricket board received the all-clear from the defence ministry last week to go ahead with the tour after establishing that there was no threat.

Tour schedule:

  • One-day internationals (all in Karachi): September 27, 29, October 2.
  • Twenty20 internationals (all Lahore): October 5, 7, 9