Thisara to captain Sri Lanka in T20 series against Pakistan

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president has insisted that the team will play in Lahore despite the pullout of some key players for the lone T20 match.

Talking to APP, Miandad said Sri Lanka's tour to Pakistan, which had been a victim of terrorism in 2009 in Lahore, is a great achievement for Pakistan cricket. The board has played down speculation in local media that coach Nic Pothas and team physiotherapist Nirmalan Dhanabalasingham will also not travel to Pakistan.

Two security experts from Sri Lanka cricket are scheduled to visit Lahore to make an assessment of the security arrangements. No top global side has played in Pakistan since the 2009 attack, which left eight people dead and seven visiting team members and support staff injured.

That series was part of Pakistani efforts to bring worldwide cricket back to the country. Several players who had said they would not travel to Pakistan have been dropped from the series, which opens in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday and concludes with the final in Lahore. Lakmal and Kapugedara survived the 2009 attack. The smooth execution of the Pakistan Super League final and the World XI Tour of Pakistan added to Pakistan's cause of bringing cricket back to the country.

Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera will captain the national team during the upcoming Twenty20 series against Pakistan.

Given that a host of regular faces won't feature in the Twenty20 series, Danushka Gunathilaka, who recently completed serving a three-match ban, Sadeera Samarawickrama, who made his Test and ODI debut in the ongoing series, and uncapped wicketkeeper Minod Bhanuka are just some of the players that have been drafted into the new-look side. Pakistan now leads the five-match one-day series 4-0 with the last match in Sharjah on Monday.

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