LAHORE, Pakistan World number one Twenty20 team
Pakistan take on an inexperienced Sri Lanka in the first of a three-match
series in Lahore on Saturday, starting their preparation for next year's
World Cup in the shortest format.
Pakistan will also play three Twenty20 matches in Australia next month
before hosting Bangladesh and later travelling to Ireland and England, all
ahead of the Twenty20 Asia Cup.
That gives them ideal preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in
Australia in October and November next year.
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said the preparation was good but he was
keeping his eye on the ball: Sri Lanka.
We will not take them lightly, said Sarfaraz.
A Twenty20 match can be won by one good performance in batting and one in
bowling, so we need to work hard to win the series.
The remaining matches will be played on Monday and Wednesday, also in
Pakistan enjoy a superior record against Sri Lanka, having beaten them in
eight of the 13 matches they have played against each other to date. They
beat Sri Lanka in the final to win the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup in England.
Sarfaraz is also one of the most successful captains in the shortest
format, winning 29 of the 34 matches he has captained, losing only five.
Pakistan have a world number one ranked Twenty20 batsman in Babar Azam,
while the recall of Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal further boosts their
Sri Lanka will miss their top players Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews,
Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera and Niroshan Dickwella, who were among
ten players who refused to tour Pakistan over security fears.
But Shanaka, who was one of four players who came to Pakistan when Sri
Lanka played a single Tweny20 international in Lahore in 2017, put on a brave
I am happy to lead the team and we will do our best to put up a fight
against our very strong hosts, said Shanaka.
Like in Karachi, where Sri Lanka lost the three-match one-day series 2-0
(with the first match rained off), stringent security will be in place for
Pakistan had promised security normally reserved for state heads to ensure
the tour goes ahead.
Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar
Azam, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Faheem
Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Usman
Shinwari, Wahab Riaz
Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (captain), Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera
Samarawickrama, Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo
Perera, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Madushanka, Wanindu
Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha,
Umpire: Aleem Dar (PAK and Ahsan Raza (PAK)
Tv umpire: Shozab Raza (PAK)
Match referee: David Boon (AUS)
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)