Ahead of the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka first ODI in Karachi, skipper of the visiting team Lahiru Thirimanne said that the focus should be on cricket rather than security. “Yeah, the security has been really good. It is first class. We did not have any problems. The facility is really good. The focus should be on cricket rather than the security. The boys are really focused and ready to go,” Lahiru Thrimanne was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “We have a lot of youngsters. Most of them are under 25, they have played a lot of domestic cricket and they have represented Sri Lanka earlier. They do not have any pressure, they are fresh. We have a good chance if we play to our potential,” he added.
Pakistan are hosting their first ODI in more than four years.
Earlier, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed Sri Lanka cricket team’s tour of Pakistan will go ahead as planned after the former was satisfied with the security in the country.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had sought the assistance of the country’s government for a reassessment of the security situation in Pakistan.
It had said the decision was taken following a warning that the Sri Lankan cricket board received from the Prime Minister’s Office sent via the Ministry of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports, regarding a possible terrorist threat to the team while touring Pakistan.
On September 9, 10 Sri Lankan players had chosen not to take part in the series in Pakistan, citing security reasons.
The players who opted out were — Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne.
The Sri Lankan cricket team was on its way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for a Test match against Pakistan in 2009 when terrorists fired indiscriminately at their bus. That attack left eight people dead and injured seven Sri Lankan players and staff.
Since then, international cricket has eluded Pakistan with no high-profile team visiting the country for a full-length tour.
However, Sri Lanka returned to Pakistan in October 2017 for a lone T20I match in Lahore, the place where the attack took place.
Sri Lanka cricket team will take on Pakistan in three ODIs and as many T20Is.
The first ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be played on Friday.