Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to review the security arrangements in Pakistan for the Sri Lanka tour while Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are going ahead with their plans to stage the limited overs series against Sri Lanka in Lahore and Karachi this month-end and announced 20 probables for the training camp ahead of the series.
Uncertainty over the series being held in Pakistan prevails following the Sri Lanka Prime Minister’s Office receiving information of a possible terrorist threat to their team while touring Pakistan.
The ICC is exploring the possibilities of appointing neutral match officials for the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series — resulting in the visit. When Pakistan hosted Zimbabwe in 2015, the ICC did not post any neutral umpires and it was left to both nations to appoint their umpires. If ICC eventually appoints neutral officials for this series, then it would be an endorsement from the world body that Pakistan is a safe country for a cricket series.
The probables’ training camp will, meanwhile, commence at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore and held under the watchful eyes of new Head Coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq. At the end of the camp, the final 15 for the upcoming ODI and T20I series from September 27 to October 9 will be announced. Pakistan had already named Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain for the series with Babar Azam as his deputy.
Misbah revealed that Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik are not among the probables as they have been given permission to play in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka team, who are awaiting the clearance from their government for the tour, are also training hard. Sri Lanka’s stand-in ODI team captain Lahiru Thirimanne told a website after studying the security plan given by PCB: “SLC [Sri Lanka Cricket] has presented us the security plan, which we are getting in Pakistan. I’m pretty happy with that and I explained to my family as well, so they don’t have a concern since we represent our country.”
Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad had, on Saturday, remarked that the Sri Lanka series should be held at all cost in Pakistan. “It does not matter which Sri Lankan players visit and Pakistan must only look to put up their best performances regardless of the visitors’ squad quality,” he said.
Probables: Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Abid Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari and Wahab Riaz.