Pakistan gets ready to host Sri Lanka in an ODI series between the two countries which will be the first since 2015. Sri Lanka had ten of their regular players dropping out of the team due to security concerns. In the meanwhile, Sarfraz Ahmed the Pakistan skipper has urged the Pakistan cricket fans to be a part of the ODI series after such a long wait. National Stadium in Karachi will host the first of the ODIs. It is expected that fans will come to watch the series in large numbers. Karachi will host the official ODI since 2009 and Sarfraz has urged the local fans to come and be a part of history. In the meantime, the Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka is satisfied with the security arrangements made for the team in Pakistan. The two teams will play three ODIs and three T20Is.
Pakistan team preparations
Sarfraz Ahmed was re-appointed as the captain of Pakistan cricket team for ODI series despite the disappointing world cup campaign by the team. He will have young Babar Azam as his deputy for the series. Pakistan will miss the services of their key fast bowler Shaheen Afridi and also that of Hasan Ali who is struggling with injuries. This means they had to recall Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, and Mohammad Rizwan for the Sri Lanka series which will be played in Karachi. The T20I series will be played in Lahore. Pakistan has a good team despite the absence of some key players. Players such as Shadab Khan and Mohammad Hasnain are back in the squad returning from CPL. Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Imam Ul-Haq, and Imad Wasim are all included in the 16 member team.
Sri Lanka team preparations
Sri Lanka has arrived in Pakistan with a squad that is greatly under their full strength. Ten of their players have refused to go to Pakistan citing safety reasons for playing in Pakistan. Important players such as Lasith Malinga, Dimuth Karunaratne, and Angelo Mathews have pulled out from the series. They were joined by others such as Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Akila Dhananjaya, Thisara Perera, Surangal Lakmal, and Dinesh Chandimal. All these withdrawals leave the team considerably weakened but it provides a great opportunity for youngsters to get more international exposure. We will see the young future Sri Lankan stars in action such as Avishka Fernando and Lahiru Kumara.
All the circumstances surrounding the series and the drama of ten Sri Lankan players withdrawing from it would have affected the competitiveness of the series. Pakistan means all business though and they have named a powerful team to take part in the ODI and the T20I series to follow later. They will be looking to have a strong start and start as hot favorites to beat the inexperienced Sri Lanka team in the first ODI.
Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
The Venue, Match Timing, and TV & Live Streaming
Venue: National Stadium, Karachi.
Timing: Friday, September 27, 2019, 3 PM LOCAL.
India & Subcontinent: Sony Six, Sony Six HD
New Zealand: SKY Sport NZ
UK: Sky Sports Cricket
Australia: Fox Sports
South Africa: SuperSport
Canada: ATN Cricket Plus (Asian Television Network), CBN
USA: Willow TV, Hotstar
Malaysia: Astro Cricket HD
MENA: OSN Sports Cricket HD
Bangladesh: Gazi TV (GTV), BTV, Maasranga TV
Live Streaming: SonyLIV, Sky Go, Now TV.