Sri Lankan cricket team arrives in Pakistan amid beefed up security
ISLAMABAD: Sri Lanka cricket team has reached Islamabad amid beefed up security as Test cricket is all set to return to Pakistan after a decade, on Monday.
According to reports, Sri Lankan team and head coach Mickey Arthur landed in the capital of Pakistan. Reports added that aerial monitoring was carried out with helicopter as 20-man contingent, including players and officials, was escorted to hotel in strict security. Grant Flower is also accompanying the Islanders as their batting coach.
It is pertinent here to mention that Mickey Arthur and Grant Flower were Pakistan’s head coach and batting coach respectively. Their contracts were not renewed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) following a disappointing performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Pakistan Army has taken control of the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium where first match is scheduled from December 11-15. The second encounter will be held at the National Stadium Karachi (December 19-23). Both fixtures will be part of the ICC World Test Championship.
PCB officials welcomed Sri Lanka team who arrived via Emirates Flight EK612. The players will take rest today. Captains Azhar Ali and Dimuth Karunaratne will hold a press conference on Tuesday.
Earlier, Pakistan recalled middle-order batsman Fawad Alam to the Test team after ten years as the 34-year-old had last represented the country in the longer format of the game in November 2009. He replaced Iftikhar Ahmed.
Fast-bowler Usman Shinwari has been included in the squad in place of Mohammad Musa. Shinwari took 15 wickets in six Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019-20 first-class matches at an average of just over 25.
Pakistan team: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Usman Shinwari, Yasir Shah