Senior Sri Lankan players who denied travelling to Pakistan owing to security concerns have agreed to travel the country for the two-match Test match in the month of December. As per a report in Deccan Chronicle, their captain Dimuth Karunaratne has also agreed to travel Pakistan.
Karunaratne, Sri Lanka’s Test and ODI captain, had withdrawn from the limited-overs tour. Lasith Malinga, SL’s T20I captain, also did not travel to the country. In their absence, Lahiru Thirimanne led the team in ODIs while Dasun Shanaka took over as captain in the shortest format.
This time, Sri Lanka will have the services of their key players in Tests with regular captain also participating in the series. The fixtures for the Test series haven’t been announced but the matches will be played in the month of December.
It will be after 10 years that Pakistan will host a Test match. Since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009, they have hosted teams in only limited-overs series. In 2015, Zimbabwe travelled Pakistan while in 2017, Sri Lanka and a World XI side played in the country.
It is to be noted that Pakistan was to host Sri Lanka in Test series in September and October but it was replaced by ODIs and T20Is. The two Test matches in December will be a part of ICC Test championship.
Before that, Pakistan will kick off their ICC Test championship tourney against Australia Down under. The visitors play Tim Paine and co in two Test matches from November 21 to December 3. Before that, the two teams will also play three T20Is on November 3, 5 and 8.
Pakistan will have a new Test captain in the form of Azhar Ali. Babar Azam will lead the team in the shortest format. The selectors had to axed Sarfaraz Ahmed as the captain and also dropped from the squad.