Pakistan cricket authorities were confident Sri Lanka will visit their country for the last Twenty20 International in Lahore despite the Sri Lankan players raising objections on touring over security fears in a letter to their board on Saturday (October 14).
Reports in Sri Lankan media suggested Sri Lankan players wrote to Sri Lanka Cricket asking for a change of venue for the third and final T20I scheduled for October 29 in Lahore.
Thilanga Sumathipala, the SLC chairman, had given a go-ahead to the tour but Ashlay de Silva, the SLC CEO, had termed that players’ safety will be premium. The SLC executive committee will discuss the matter in a meeting on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board officials are confident that the tour will go ahead.
“We hope the tour will go ahead as planned,” said an official. “The International Cricket Council security experts are likely to speak to the Sri Lanka players and inform them about the excellent security arrangements to allay their fears.”
The first two Twenty20 internationals will be played in Abu Dhabi on October 26 and 27.
Malik wants to go on till 2019 World Cup
Having quit the longer version on his own terms despite scoring a double hundred in his last series, Shoaib Malik is now eyeing the 2019 World Cup before finally hanging his shoes.
“Yes, it did look a bit odd that someone quit like that,” said Malik, who retired from Tests in 2015. “I thought we have players like Babar Azam and Haris Sohail who can replace me so I left, but as far as ODIs are concerned I want to play the 2019 World Cup. I will give it a try.”
The 35-year-old former captain scored a swashbuckling 61-ball 81 that, along with Babar Azam’s 103, set up Pakistan’s 83-run win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI. Malik stressed Babar should be given regular chances in Tests.
“Babar is a very good player and his hundred set us very well in the first match,” said Malik. “I would love to see him score runs in Tests because he is an exceptional talent and should be given more chances.”
Malik also praised Pakistan’s bowlers, who kept Sri Lanka to 209 for 8 in chase of 293.
“What we have seen in the Champions trophy was that our five bowlers were taking wickets in the middle overs and that is the key to winning matches,” he said. “Here too, our bowlers got regular wickets and that helped.”