The wait for international cricket to resume in Pakistan continued as heavy downpour washed out the first ODI at Karachi against Sri Lanka on Friday. Pakistan's efforts to resume the sport at their home turf took a hit as heavy rains forced the first contest to be abandoned, extending the 10-year-wait to a little more than two days. Amid prevailing security concerns and potential terror threats, the young Sri Lankan side landed in Pakistan to kick-off the controversial tour, despite a majority of the senior players giving the tour a miss. Now due to incessant rains, not just the first contest has been called off but the second match has also been rescheduled to two days later, signalling an ominous start at PCB's efforts to revive cricket at home.
The last international game to be held in Pakistan dates back to 2009 when the Sri Lankan team bus was targeted by terrorists in Lahore following which international cricket moved out of the country. Over the years, Pakistan has played from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as its home ground and has tried on multiple occasions to bring back the sport in Pakistan. After all the hue and cry about the Sri Lankan series including a bizarre allegation from Pakistan about India's so-called ínterference' in Sri Lanka's tour with Pakistan, the series was all set to begin from Friday but the signs of nature did not look like it favoured Pakistan. ICC took to its social media handle to take a dig at Pakistan's sorry state of affairs, both inside and outside the stadium in Karachi, due to incessant downpour. In a picture posted by ICC on Twitter, a flooded street right outside the stadium can be observed. This was also the first time a game was abandoned due to rain at the venue. Further, the second ODI which was originally scheduled to be played on September 29 has been moved to September 30 owing to the rains. See ICC's tweets here:
The first ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Karachi has been abandoned due to rain 😞— ICC (@ICC) September 27, 2019
It's the first time an ODI has ever been washed out at the venue. As you can see, it was a bit wet...#PAKvSL pic.twitter.com/mWGYrAzL3x
The second ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Karachi has been rescheduled from Sunday 29 September to Monday 30 September due to the rain which washed out the first ODI.— ICC (@ICC) September 28, 2019
Have you ever heard of rain so heavy it washes out a game two days away?!https://t.co/ZTIhgcJc1O
"I was very hurt when these Sri Lankan players backed out of the tour because the security situation in our country has improved a lot... Our board or government would never ask anyone to play in Pakistan unless they were not sure they could provide the best security environment," star spinner Ajmal said on the GSports show on GNews channel."I think those Sri Lankan players or foreigners who can come for the PSL matches should also tour with their national teams. And if anyone refuses to come with their teams they should not be included in the PSL draft," Saeed agreed with Faisal's assertion."It hurts because we have had plenty of international cricket and PSL matches in Pakistan in the last two years." Iqbal also noted that it had been 10 years since terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore and it was time to move on. "I was in the Pakistan team when the attack took place but since then things have changed, many international players have come and played in Pakistan. Sri Lankan players have come and played in the PSL. So there was no reason for these 10 Sri Lankan players to back out of the tour," he said.