Karachi [Pakistan], Dec 18 : Ahead of the upcoming second Test against Pakistan, Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne on Wednesday said that he regrets not touring Pakistan for the limited-overs series earlier this year.
Sri Lanka is currently playing against Pakistan in Pakistan. The first match of the series had ended as a draw.
“Now I do regret not coming for the shorter formats. At that time it was a really hard decision to take because I had heard and read lots of things about Pakistan on news and social media – not positive things,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Karunaratne as saying.
“But the guys who came here before gave really good comments and that’s why all the seniors decided to go and play a good Test series. Now I think I should have come and played the one-dayers,” he added.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has also confirmed that Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) led by Kumar Sangakkara would be touring the country in 2020 for a match.
It is also being speculated that Bangladesh will tour sometime in the next eight weeks, but that visit has not yet been confirmed.
“I can’t appeal to Bangladesh about whether they should come, but what I can say is that for me it feels really safe. The guys who are giving us security, they are giving us not just 100% but more than 100%. That’s why we feel really good. We went out for dinner as well. I can say that Pakistan is now safe for cricket,” Karunratne said.
When Sri Lanka went to play the T20Is and ODIs in Pakistan earlier this year, few of the big names such as Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella had opted out of the tour due to security reasons.
The ten players were– Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne.
When Lanka and Pakistan played the limited-overs leg earlier this year, the visitors had lost the ODI series 0-2 but they went on to win the T20I series 3-0.
This result in the T20Is also led to Sarfaraz Ahmed’s sacking as the Pakistan skipper in T20Is and Tests.
In 2009, the Sri Lankan team was on their way to Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for a Test match with Pakistan, 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 had eluded Pakistan with no high-profile team visiting the country for a full-length tour.
This is the first time in ten years, that Pakistan would be playing a Test match on their home soil.