Sri Lanka likely to play one T20 in Lahore

The rest of the tournament, starting on Sept 28, will be played in the United

Sri Lanka will play one T20 match in Lahore — subject to security clearance — later this month, a Sri Lanka Cricket Board official said on Monday.

The rest of the tournament will be played in the United Arab Emirates. The two teams will kick the tournament off with a day-and-night Test match in a two-match series, starting on September 28.

Sri Lanka will also play five one-day internationals and two T20 matches in the Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, a board official told AFP.

A third T20 match will be played in Lahore, Pakistan subject to security clearance, the official said.

“The exact itinerary will be released shortly,” the official said adding that one of the Tests to be played in the UAE would be Sri Lanka’s first with the pink ball used in day-and-night Tests.

Last month, Sri Lanka’s cricket board approved a tour to Pakistan, eight years after a deadly militant attack against the team brought top international games there to a standstill.

Sri Lanka Cricket had originally expected to play all three T20 internationals in Pakistan, including one in Lahore, scene of the 2009 attack which left eight people dead.

However, officials say the team will play one T20 in Lahore, that too subject to security clearance closer to the event.

Leading cricket nations have shunned playing in Pakistan since the 2009 assault, in which gunmen ambushed the Sri Lankan team bus en route to the Lahore stadium, wounding at least seven players.

Since 2009, the only international team to visit Pakistan is Zimbabwe, who played five limited-overs games in Lahore in 2015. Pakistan play their “home” internationals in the United Arab Emirates.

But there were hopeful signs when Pakistan successfully staged the final of the Pakistan Super League — the rest of which was played in UAE — under heavy security in March.

Addressing the Asian Cricket Council in Colombo at the weekend, Sri Lanka Cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala called for an end to Pakistan’s isolation and urged countries to play there.

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