Pakistan captain Sarfaraz still counting on Sri Lanka coming

Sarfaraz said the International Cricket Council and other national boards should come forward and support Pakistan more in its bid to revive international cricket.

Sarfaraz Ahmed during a media interaction.   -  AFP

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is still counting on Sri Lanka turning up for a limited-overs tour this month despite alleged terrorist threats.

Sri Lanka Cricket said on Wednesday it was warned of a possible terrorist threat during the scheduled tour of Pakistan, and sought a reassessment of the security situation before the first of three one-day internationals on Sept. 27 in Karachi.

There’s also three Twenty20s scheduled in Lahore from Oct. 5-9.

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“Inshallah (God willing) they will come, we should hope for the best,” Sarfaraz said on Friday in Karachi.

“The Pakistan Cricket Board is trying its best and we should all pray that international cricket should come back to Pakistan.”

Sarfaraz added the International Cricket Council and other national boards should come forward and support Pakistan more in its bid to revive international cricket.

“The way PCB has worked over the last 10 years, it’s a tremendous effort,” he said.

He also noted how quick Pakistan supported Sri Lanka after the Easter Sunday bombings there by sending a junior team to tour.

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Major teams have avoided Pakistan since the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked by terrorists in 2009. Over the past three years, Pakistan has successfully hosted Zimbabwe, the West Indies, Sri Lanka, and a World XI in limited-overs matches amid intense security.

Sarfaraz was confirmed as captain on Friday for both limited-overs series. Babar Azam was named as vice-captain and PCB chairman Ehsan Mani hinted the middle-order batsman could be Pakistan’s future captain in the shorter formats.

“This is part of Babar’s gradual development as a future captain and in line with our strategy of introducing a succession plan across the board so that there are no gaps,” Mani said in a statement.