The uncertainty over Sri Lanka’s tour of Lahore for the final Twenty20 International of their ongoing series against Pakistan ended on Monday (October 16) after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) confirmed their commitment to making the trip.
The one-off fixture on October 29 will be the first bilateral exchange on Pakistani soil since May 31, 2015, when Zimbabwe played the last match of their series of two T20Is and three One-Day Internationals at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.
The tour by Zimbabwe, in fact, was the first by a Test-playing nation to Pakistan after the armed attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore back on March 3, 2009.
Thank you my friend, Thilanga Samathipala, for keeping your promise to bring Sri Lankan cricket team to Pakistan for a historic occasion!
— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) October 16, 2017
“SLC have over the past two months conducted a thorough evaluation with the assistance of the Government of Sri Lanka, the Government of Pakistan, the PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] and independent security experts and the Executive Committee today evaluated the reports obtained together with the recommendation of the International Cricket Council – which successfully conducted the Independence Cup tournament in Lahore fielding a World XI Team – and having been fully satisfied with the stringent security measures in place, the SLC ExCo unanimously decided to play the 3rd T20 in Lahore on the 29th October,” said the Sri Lankan board in a statement.
The SLC added that Thilanga Sumathipala, the SLC chief, would also be travelling with the team to Lahore to be a part of the historic occasion.
A 22-member squad will be announced on October 17 before being whittled down to 15 by October 20, well in time for the first T20I on October 26 in Abu Dhabi.
The PCB, which successfully hosted three T20Is against a World XI squad last month in Lahore, had been confident of the Lahore fixture going ahead despite reports that many Sri Lankan players had reservations about travelling because of security fears.
The PCB have also been in talks with Cricket West Indies to try and bring the Windies team across to Pakistan for a three-match T20I series next month.