Pakistan to host Sri Lanka in first home Test matches for a decade

Test cricket

Pakistan will host Test cricket for the first time in more than a decade, with Sri Lanka agreeing to visit for two matches next month.

Sri Lanka’s team bus was attacked by terrorists in Lahore in March 2009, an incident that left eight people dead and a number of team members injured. Pakistan has not hosted Test cricket since.

Efforts to reintegrate the country into the touring schedule have been ongoing for several years and Sri Lanka successfully completed a white-ball tour of Karachi and Lahore in September and October.

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They have now confirmed they will travel again for Tests in Rawalpindi on December 11 and Karachi on December 19.

Zakir Khan, director of international cricket at the Pakistan Cricket Board, welcomed the news.

“This is a fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world,” he said in a statement.

“We are thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game. Now that the itinerary has been confirmed, we will shift our focus on series preparations to ensure we deliver arrangements as per our very high standards.

“This series is part of our cricket celebrations and we will leave no stone unturned in putting up a show which is a memorable one for the players, officials, fans and media.”

Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ashley de Silva added: “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.”