With all the unrest that’s been going around about Sri Lanka travelling to Pakistan to play the last of three T-20s, Sri Lanka’s sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara has announced that he’d be going to Pakistan alongside the team. This is the first time since 2009, when Sri Lankan cricket team bus was attacked by terrorists, killing eight people and injuring 7 team members and staff. Since then, International cricket has been banned in Pakistan and now they’re trying to bring back the sport in their home town for the first time in 8 years.
With Skipper Upul Tharanga, veteran pacer Lasith Malinga & wicket keeper Niroshan Dickwella being left out of the squad, Dayashiri announced on Wednesday (October 25) that he’d be joining the national cricket team on their first match in Pakistan since the attack. He said that Sri Lanka was satisfied with security preparations for the T20 final in Lahore later in October despite reservations from some players. He added, “It is safe for our team. I am accompanying them to demonstrate that it is safe for us. The ICC (International Cricket Council) has also said it is safe for us to tour Pakistan.”
The Players who were reluctant to travek to Pakistan included batsman Chamara Kapugedara and bowler Suranga Lakmal, who survived the 2009 assault, haven’t been included in the side. With a mini exodus going on, Sri Lanka made 28-year-old all-rounder Thisara Perera the captain of the T20 squad in Saturday (October 21). Perera toured Pakistan as a member of a World XI for a three-match T20I series played in Lahore last month.
That series was part of Pakistani efforts to bring international cricket back to the country. Despite hosting Zimbabwe for a 5-match limited overs series in 2015, many top teams have refused to tour there, forcing Pakistan to play home matches in neutral venues in the UAE.