Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Cricket Series 2017 in UAE and Lahore

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    After a period of eight years, people of this country are witnessing return of international cricket in the country. Recently, Pakistani cricket team played against World Eleven players for Independence Cup 2017 and won the series by 2-1. The eleven players resided in Lahore and were satisfied with the security arrangements. The successful holding of cricket series in Pakistan after a long time can be termed a biggest achievement, credit goes to PCB and its chairman Najam Sethi who burnt ‘midnight oil’ to bring cricket back in the country. Now Pakistani cricket team is going to play against Sri Lanka and West Indies in near future. The years of isolation have ended.

    The doors of international cricket were closed on Pakistan when militants targeted the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009. At least eight people were killed and seven Sri Lankan players got wounded. Since then, Bangladesh, the West Indies, Ireland and Sri Lanka have been rejecting offers due to security concerns. Pakistan faced worldwide criticism over this tragic incident. Now the security conditions have vividly improved past two years and Sri Lankan team has agreed to tour Pakistan.

    The opening doors of international cricket

    Both countries will play cricket series in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Lahore. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi said, “We will play a full series with Sri Lanka in the UAE after which Sri Lanka will come to Lahore for a Twenty20, so things are shaping up”.

    He added, “Right now we are compelled to play only in Lahore but obviously with time we will schedule matches at other Test venues like Karachi, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Multan”.

    Both sides’ squad haven’t been announced yet. The series is scheduled to start on 28 September in UAE and end with final T20 match in Lahore. Both teams will play 5 ODIs, 2 Test matches, and 3 T20s. Here is schedule of the series:

    1st Test

    Sep 28, Thu – Oct 02, Mon Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
    Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
    06:00 AM GMT/ 10:00 AM LOCAL

    2nd Test

    Oct 06, Fri – Oct 10, Tue Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
    Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
    10:00 AM GMT/ 02:00 PM LOCAL

    1st ODI

    Oct 13, Fri Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
    Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
    10:00 AM GMT/ 02:00 PM LOCAL

    2nd ODI

    Oct 16, Mon Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
    Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
    10:00 AM GMT/ 02:00 PM LOCAL

    3rd ODI

    Oct 18, Wed Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
    Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
    10:00 AM GMT/ 02:00 PM LOCAL

    4th ODI

    Oct 20, Fri Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
    Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah
    10:00 AM GMT/ 02:00 PM LOCAL

    5th ODI

    Oct 23, Mon Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
    Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah
    10:00 AM GMT/ 02:00 PM LOCAL

    1st T20I

    Oct 26, Thu Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
    Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
    03:00 PM GMT/ 07:00 PM LOCAL

    2nd T20I

    Oct 27, Fri Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
    Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
    03:00 PM GMT/ 07:00 PM LOCAL

    3rd T20I

    Oct 29, Sun Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
    Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
    02:00 PM GMT/ 07:00 PM LOCAL

    On September 23, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq announced a 16-member Pakistani squad for the two-Test series starting from September 28. He informed that Wahab Riaz has been added back to the team and Ahmad Shahzad and Mohammad Rizwan have been dropped from the team for the upcoming test series against Sri Lanka in UAE.

    Pakistani squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Asghar, Bilal Asif, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Wahab Riaz

    During a press conference, Inzamam said, “Azhar has a cyst in his knee but after taking injections that were prescribed by the doctors, he is fine and can play now.”

    In a separate press conference, Pakistan cricket team captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said that he seeks to score a century and contribute to the team’s victory in his debut Test as captain. About team selection, he expressed his satisfaction and said, “There are both spinners and fast bowlers (in the squad) and we will take a strong middle order as that is crucial in the Test format”.

    He added that his team is very good and the players are always working to improve themselves. He admitted that leading Pakistan was hard and he idealize his predecessors in this regard, “Moin Khan has always been my ideal and I’ve always looked up to him as captain,” he revealed. “But I have always said that the way Misbah led the team was exemplary. He was made captain at a very challenging time and picking the team up was not easy. I always try to learn from his decision making”.