Pakistan V Sri Lanka First Home Test In 10 Years A Celebration For Nation

91
1468

Pakistan V Sri Lanka First Home Test In 10 Years A Celebration For Nation

“This series is for the whole of Pakistan. It’s waited a long time and seen a lot of pain and heartache. It’s a celebration for our nation.”

As Test cricket returns to the country for the first time in a decade, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Wasim Khan is hopeful the series against Sri Lanka will reignite fans’ love for the sport.

“This is such a momentous moment,” Khan told BBC Sport. “It really is like a religion over here.”

The first Test of the two-match series, which forms part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World Test Championship, begins on Wednesday in Rawalpindi.

Pakistan have not played a Test on home soil since the Sri Lanka team bus was ambushed by gunmen in Lahore on 3 March 2009, when six policemen and two civilians died and several Sri Lanka players and coaches were injured.

There will be a strong security presence in Rawalpindi, in the north of Pakistan, this week with armed police patrolling the stadium.

‘A lost generation’ of Pakistan fans

With international teams opting not to tour because of security fears, Pakistan have played the majority of their “home” matches since 2009 in the United Arab Emirates, often in front of sparse crowds.

Khan says this has resulted in a “lost generation” of cricket fans.

“I mean that in terms of both participation and those supporters who have become distant because they couldn’t just go along and watch their heroes,” he said.

Pakistan hosted Zimbabwe for three one-day-internationals in 2015, although the series was marred by a suicide bombing outside the stadium.

In September this year a touring Sri Lanka team – albeit with a number of players choosing not to take part – played three one-day internationals in Karachi and three Twenty20 internationals in Lahore.

“The losses we’ve made probably goes into the hundreds of millions [of dollars],” suggests Khan, who says the return of Test cricket is “critical”.

Pakistan will be led by captain Azhar Ali against Sri Lanka. Azhar, who made his debut in 2010, has played 75 Tests but none in Pakistan.

“Having the likes of Azhar play at home, in front of their fans in rocking stadiums with thousands watching, will only drive the players on to bigger and better things,” Khan said.

‘There will be a buzz in Rawalpindi’

Khan says there is “a huge buzz” for the game at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, which last hosted a Test in 2004.

With tickets being sold for as little as 60 rupees (£0.30), a good crowd is expected.

“We want local fans to come and watch Test cricket for the first time,” Khan said.

Former Pakistan seamer Yasir Arafat, who played in the abandoned 2009 Lahore Test and has a stand in Rawalpindi named after him, says there will be a “festival-like” atmosphere at the ground.

He added: “You get a special feeling playing in your own country.”

When will England tour Pakistan?

England have not toured Pakistan since 2005 and are not scheduled to return until 2022.

England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison visited Pakistan in October to review security, and Khan is confident the series will go ahead.

“We’re taking baby steps towards building a relationship and confidence in them,” he said.

Khan acknowledges that the lack of bilateral cricket against neighbours and fierce rivals India has also been costly to the PCB.

“They have to get permission from their government before they play us in a bilateral series,” he said.

The two sides have not played a Test since December 2007, while since January 2013, their only meetings in limited-overs internationals have been at ICC global events.

With political tensions high, a return to bilateral India-Pakistan series looks unlikely to happen any time soon.

‘Go home and tell people it’s safe’

The success of the Pakistan Super League T20 competition in recent years has shown that players do not need to worry about security concerns, according to Khan.

He said: “Shane Watson, who is now the president of the Australia Players’ Cricket Association, recently said Pakistan is one of the safest places to play cricket in the world.”

The draft for next year’s PSL – which runs from 20 February to 22 March – was held last week, with 14 English players, including Jason Roy and Moeen Ali, selected.

Khan, a former county cricketer who was chief executive of Leicestershire before taking the PCB job, is relying on the “word of mouth” of these players to share their experiences with others.

His message to them is simple. “Go home and tell your countrymen that it’s safe, go to Pakistan and play in front of those passionate fans.”

A young Pakistan team who can ‘become cult heroes’

Pakistan have won six, drawn three and lost two of the series they played in the UAE since 2009.

They rose to number one in the ICC Test rankings in 2016, but have slipped to eighth and have just suffered a 2-0 series defeat in Australia.

There are promising signs for a young team. In Australia, Pakistan became the first side in Test history to field three players under the age of 20 with the pace bowling trio of Naseem Shah, Muhammad Musa and Shaheen Afridi.

Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq also has Babar Azam at his disposal – a player who is top of the T20 world batting rankings and third in the ODI standings.

“We’ve got a huge amount of ability in this side. These are players who will be here to stay for a very long time. I have absolute faith they will become cult heroes for this country,” Khan added.

Leeds United Moved Top Of The Championship

Sri Lanka have not played Test cricket since drawing 1-1 at home to New Zealand in August, but have sent a strong squad to Pakistan.

It will be coach Mickey Arthur’s first outing in charge of a team captained by Dimuth Karunaratne and including the experienced Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal.

https://www.bbc.com

Squads for first Test:

Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Osh­ada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhan­anjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan.

Pakistan V Sri Lanka First Home Test In 10 Years A Celebration For Nation

91 COMMENTS

  1. naturally like your web site however you have to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very bothersome to inform the truth however I’ll surely come again again.

  2. Hello there! I simply would like to offer a significant thumbs up for the terrific information you have right here on this article. I will be returning to your blog for even more soon.

  3. I am really loving the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A handful of my blog readers have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any ideas to help fix this problem?

  4. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  5. Usually I don’t read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, very great article.

  6. I discovered your blog website on google and also inspect a few of your early messages. Remain to maintain the very good operate. I simply additional up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Viewers. Seeking ahead to reading more from you in the future!?

  7. It’s really a nice and useful piece of information. I’m happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I got what you intend, thanks for posting .Woh I am lucky to find this website through google. “Since the Exodus, freedom has always spoken with a Hebrew accent.” by Heinrich Heine.

  9. At this time it sounds like BlogEngine is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  10. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  11. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. However imagine if you added some great graphics or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this website could certainly be one of the greatest in its field. Amazing blog!

  12. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  13. I’ll right away grasp your rss as I can not find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me understand so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  14. I think this is among the most important information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  15. Nice post. I be taught something more difficult on totally different blogs everyday. It would all the time be stimulating to read content material from different writers and practice a bit one thing from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content material on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll offer you a link in your net blog. Thanks for sharing.

  16. hello!,I really like your writing very a lot! percentage we be in contact more approximately your article on AOL? I require a specialist on this area to unravel my problem. Maybe that is you! Having a look ahead to see you.

  17. The following time I read a blog site, I wish that it doesn’t dissatisfy me as much as this one. I imply, I recognize it was my choice to read, however I in fact thought youd have something intriguing to claim. All I hear is a number of yawping regarding something that you might take care of if you werent also hectic searching for attention.

  18. I’ll right away grab your rss feed as I can’t find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  19. What i do not realize is in truth how you’re no longer actually a lot more neatly-favored than you may be right now. You are very intelligent. You already know therefore considerably with regards to this topic, produced me for my part imagine it from so many various angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be fascinated unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. All the time handle it up!

  20. Someone necessarily help to make critically posts I might state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and up to now? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this particular post amazing. Wonderful process!

  21. Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I were a little bit familiar of this your broadcast provided shiny clear concept

  22. Hi, Neat post. There is a problem with your site in internet explorer, would test thisÖ IE still is the market leader and a good portion of people will miss your excellent writing because of this problem.

  23. Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!|

  24. Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board and I in finding It really helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to offer one thing again and aid others like you helped me.

  25. Greetings! I’ve been following your web site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

  26. Howdy would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a fair price? Thanks, I appreciate it!

  27. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  28. Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Great blog and terrific style and design.

  29. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this site. Reading this information So i am glad to convey that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I so much certainly will make certain to don’t put out of your mind this website and give it a glance on a continuing basis.

  30. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  31. Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, website theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task.

  32. A person essentially assist to make significantly posts I might state. That is the first time I frequented your website page and to this point? I amazed with the analysis you made to make this particular submit extraordinary. Fantastic task!|

  33. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have learn this publish and if I may I want to recommend you some interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles relating to this article. I wish to read more things about it!|

  34. Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  35. Can I just now say such a relief to discover somebody that actually knows what theyre talking about on-line. You actually learn how to bring a worry to light and produce it crucial. Lots more people should read this and appreciate this side of your story. I cant believe youre no more popular when you definitely provide the gift.

  36. excellent post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You must continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  37. I am typically to blogging we truly appreciate your posts. This content has truly peaks my interest. I am about to bookmark your web blog and maintain checking choosing details.

  38. Very efficiently written post. It will be beneficial to everyone who utilizes it, including yours truly :). Keep up the good work – looking forward to more posts.

  39. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back from now on. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great job, have a nice day!

  40. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  41. Hello there, simply was alert to your weblog via Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful when you proceed this in future. A lot of other folks will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  42. Thank you for another wonderful post. Where else could anybody get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  43. Vielen Dank für jede andere informative Website. Ich bekomme diese Art von Information, die in solch einem perfekten Ideal geschrieben ist. methode? Ich habe eine Herausforderung, die ich Ich arbeite gerade an, und ich habe auf der Suche nach solchen Informationen Ausschau gehalten.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here