The team took blessings of saffron-robed Buddhist monks before departure. © Twitter
Sri Lanka T20 International captain Dasun Shanaka said he has no hesitation in touring Pakistan for a series, comprising three One-day Internationals and as many T20I, starting on September 27. After ten senior players opted out of the tour citing security concerns, a depleted squad left for Pakistan on Tuesday. “I have been there before. I am satisfied with the security arranged for us and I am happy to lead my team to Pakistan. We hope to give a good fight to our very strong hosts,” Dasun Shanaka told reporters on Tuesday.
The team took blessings of saffron-robed Buddhist monks before leaving from Colombo.
In 2009, a touring Sri Lankan side was attacked in Lahore. Most of the international teams have refused to tour Pakistan since then.
Pakistan had to host most of their home games in the United Arab Emirates.
Dasun Shanaka was the part of Sri Lanka squad that toured Pakistan when they hosted a T20I in Lahore in October 2017, their first tour since the 2009 attack.
ODI skipper Lahiru Thirimanne joined in saying they had been given assurances of a very high degree of protection in Pakistan, usually reserved for visits by heads of state.
Sri Lanka’s cricket board received the all-clear from the defence ministry last week to go ahead with the tour after establishing that there was no threat.
The 2009 attack left six players injured when gunmen attacked their bus. Six Pakistan policemen and two civilians were killed.
(With AFP inputs)