High-level Test cricket will return to Pakistan in December after more than 10 years when Sri Lanka returns to play the World Test Championship matches in Rawalpindi and Karachi, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced in a press release.
The first Test will be played at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium from December 11 to 15, while the second Test will be held at the National Stadium from December 19 to 23.
Sri Lanka were originally scheduled to play the two Tests in October and then return in December for white-ball cricket, but the matches were swapped to provide them the opportunity to assess the situation before deciding on the Test venues.
The Test series schedule was confirmed after Sri Lanka Cricket gave their thumbs-up to fulfill their Future Tours Programme commitment following a highly successful visit for white-ball cricket, the PCB said.
PCB Director (international cricket) Zakir Khan said, “this is fabulous news for Pakistan and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world. We are thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game, which will contribute significantly in the PCB’s efforts and drive for regular resumption of international cricket.”
“Now that the itinerary has been confirmed, we will shift our focus on series preparations to ensure we deliver arrangements as per our very high standards,” he added.
SLC Chief Executive Ashley de Silva said, “We are pleased to confirm our return visit to Pakistan as, based on our earlier visit, we are comfortable and convinced conditions are suitable and conducive for Test cricket.”
“We also believe all cricket playing countries should host international cricket at home and in this relation we are happy to play our part in complete resumption of international cricket in Pakistan, which not only has a proud history but has been one of our biggest supporters in our early days as a cricket nation,” he added.
“We drew our opening World Test Championship series against New Zealand, and I anticipate, like in the past, these two Tests will be exciting and competitive, and the fans will thoroughly enjoy the quality of cricket that will be on display,” he further added.
11-15 December – 1st Test, Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
19-23 December – 2nd Test, National Stadium, Karachi