International cricket returns to Pakistan as they are all set to host Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series between September 27 and October 9. The series will begin with three ODI’s and will be followed by a three-match T20I series. The ODI series will be played at the National Stadium in Karachi, while the game's shortest format will be played at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore. After the Pakistan tour, the two teams will also contest two Test matches in the UAE starting December 2019. The Test series will form a part of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship.
Initially, the tour also included the Test series between two nations before it got pushed back by two months into Pakistan’s second home country. After a dismal outing in the recently concluded World Cup in England, both teams will be looking to make an impact in the limited-overs format. Both teams failed to qualify for the semi-finals and their scheduled encounter at the County Ground in Bristol was called-off due to continuous rains. In spite of all the controversies surrounding Pakistan’s performance in the quadrennial event, regular captain Sarfaraz Ahmed will continue to lead the ‘Men in Green’ against the visiting Sri Lankans.
Due to security concerns, several of the top Sri Lankan players decided to opt-out of the tour. The tour withdrawal came at the backdrop of the attack on the Sri Lankan team by gunmen when the island nation toured Pakistan in 2009. Sri Lanka’s limited-overs captain Dimuth Karunaratne was also among the players who dropped out of the tour. Former Lankan captain and 50-overs specialist Lahiru Thirimanne was then appointed as the replacement skipper for their ODI outfit. Meanwhile, the 28-year old Dasun Shanaka was selected to lead the T20I side.
Captain and wicketkeeper: Sarfaraz Ahmed
Batsmen: Babar Azam (VC), Avishka Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Abid Ali
Bowlers: Nuwan Pradeep, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Isuru Udana