Test cricket to return to Pakistan after a decade

Pakistan is to host its first Test matches in more than a decade with the nation’s cricket governing body describing it “as safe and secure as any other country in the world”.

Pakistan will play two Tests against Sri Lanka in December at arenas in Rawalpindi and Karachi.

The dates were confirmed after the completion of Sri Lanka’s limited-overs tour, which passed off without incident.

The first Test, at Rawalpindi’s 28,000-capacity Pindi Cricket Stadium from December 11-15, will be the first five-day international match in Pakistan since the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked by terrorists during a match in Lahore in 2009.

Pakistan Cricket Board director Zakir Khan, said: “This is a fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world.

“We are thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game, which will contribute significantly in the PCB’s efforts and drive for regular resumption of international cricket, and help in its endeavours of attracting new audiences and younger generation.

“Now that the itinerary has been confirmed, we will shift our focus on series preparations to ensure we deliver arrangements as per our very high standards. This series is part of our cricket celebrations and we will leave no stone unturned in putting up a show which is a memorable one for the players, officials, fans and media.”

Six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed in the Lahore attack, while a number of the Sri Lanka team were wounded.

In the past decade Pakistan has played most of its ‘home’ Test matches in the UAE.

Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ashley de Silva said: “We are pleased to confirm our return visit to Pakistan as, based on our earlier visit, we are comfortable and convinced conditions are suitable and conducive for Test cricket.

“We also believe all cricket playing countries should host international cricket at home and in this relation we are happy to play our part in complete resumption of international cricket in Pakistan, which not only has a proud history but has been one of our biggest supporters in our early days as a cricket nation.”

Image:  Nomi887