History for Babar as Pakistan see off Sri Lanka

Pakistan's efforts to conduct worldwide cricket matches at home received a major setback on Monday as Sri Lanka's limited-overs captain Upul Tharanga pulled out of the scheduled T20 global in Lahore citing security reasons. The board deliberated on the issue at its executive committee meeting in Colombo, before coming to the conclusion, which came only two days after Sri Lankan players had expressed strong reluctance to travel to Lahore by signing a letter requesting the match to be moved to a neutral venue.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's limited-overs captain Upul Tharanga has reportedly pulled out of the Lahore T20I due to security concerns and it is likely that the board would not consider him for first two matches as well.

Asanka Gurusinha, the former Sri Lanka batsman and current team manager, urged his players to tour Pakistan despite security concerns as a way of paying back the country for its support of Sri Lanka during the 1996 World Cup in the subcontinent.

Gunathilaka was dropped from the squad for the ongoing five-match one-day worldwide series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was in a location near Lahore the Sri Lankan cricketers were attacked on 3 March 2009 and since then there had been no concrete evidence of improvement in security in the Region.

The PCB Chairman was asked that will Sri Lankan team will visit Pakistan for the last T20 to which he replied affirmative while arriving at the Lahore Airport. In August he called for an end to Pakistan's isolation from world cricket.

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bat in the second day-night worldwide against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

The board's decision clears Gunathilaka to play in the three-match series starting October 26 in the United Arab Emirates, though the final squad of 15 will not be announced until Friday. Seems like we will be there in Lahore only for 24 hours. Thisara Perera, now part of the ODI squad in the UAE, was Sri Lanka's only representative in those matches.

  • Rogelio Becker