Sri Lanka confirms visit to Lahore for T20 clash

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC)

The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has officially confirmed its national team’s tour to Pakistan for the last T20 match of the on-going series, to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Oct 29.

“Sri Lanka Cricket today (Monday) has confirmed its commitment to play the third and final T20 game of the ongoing Sri Lanka series against Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, on the 29th of October,” an official press release of the Sri Lanka Cricket stated on Monday.

“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 and independent security experts and The Executive Committee today, October 16, 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 of October,” it further said.

Accordingly, the Selection Committee of SLC will finalize a squad of twenty two players by the Oct 17 and announce the final 15 on the 20th of October.

“SLC President, Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala who will accompany the team to Lahore, extended his best wishes to PCB Chairman Najam Sethi and his board on the occasion of this historic game, which is set to bring back bilateral cricket to Pakistan,” it concluded.

Sethi was quick to respond with a positive message to SLC’s decision.

Talking to Dawn News late Monday evening, the PCB chairman said: “This is a historic moment. I am grateful for the understanding and support given to me by the President of the SLC, my friend Thilanga Sumathipala, who made a pledge two months ago to me during the ACC moot in Colombo to break the ice and come to Lahore and help Pakistan bring international cricket home.”

Meanwhile, the decision of Sri Lanka to come to Lahore will definitely be a boost for other teams and will further convince the West Indies to fulfill its commitment of playing three T20 matches in Lahore since the West Indies Cricket Board had conditioned the visit of its national cricket team to Pakistan with the safe return of the World XI and subsequently of Sri Lanka.