Test cricket returns to Pakistan as Sri Lanka agree to play two-match series in December
What's the story?
The longest format of the game will come back to Pakistan after a break of 10 years as Sri Lanka has agreed to play a two-Test series in the nation. Pakistan Cricket Board made this news official via a press release and they have also confirmed that Rawalpindi and Karachi will host the two Tests.
Also see – World Test Championship Schedule
As a result of the attacks on the Sri Lankan team in 2009, international cricket had paused Pakistan. Since then, Pakistan were forced to adopt the United Arab Emirates as its new home venue.
PCB has worked a lot on the security as international cricket gradually resumed in Pakistan. Over the years, a lot of teams have toured the nation to play limited-overs fixtures. Besides, the board also conducted a few matches of the Pakistan Super League in Pakistan. Recently, Pakistan had hosted Sri Lanka in a three-match ODI and T20I series.
The heart of the matter
After successfully hosting the Sri Lankan side in white-ball cricket, Pakistan will now host them in a Test series. The SLC chief Ashley de Silva confirmed the tour on 14th November (Thursday) and said:
"We are pleased to confirm our return visit to Pakistan as, based on our earlier visit, we are comfortable and convinced conditions are suitable and conducive for Test cricket. We also believe all cricket playing countries should host international cricket at home and in this relation we are happy to play our part in complete resumption of international cricket in Pakistan, which not only has a proud history but has been one of our biggest supporters in our early days as a cricket nation."
Zakir Khan, PCB's Director of International Cricket, expressed his gratitude towards Sri Lanka and thanked them by saying that,
"This is fabulous news for Pakistan and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world. We are thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game, which will contribute significantly in the PCB's efforts and drive for regular resumption of international cricket, and help in its endeavours of attracting new audiences and younger generation."
The first Test will be played from 11th to 15th December in Rawalpindi while Karachi will host the second Test from 19th to 23rd December.