Mickey Arthur urges Sri Lanka to play in Pakistan

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said that security measures around Lahore is "second to none."

By: Express Web Desk | Published:October 18, 2017 11:59 am
pakistan vs sri lanka, pak vs sl, pak vs sl lahore, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said that the match will be a sell-out. (Source: File)

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur urged Sri Lanka to play in Lahore. The third T20I between the two countries is slated to be played in Pakistan but there has been question marks over it since 40 Sri Lankan cricketers reportedly handed SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala a letter stating their reservations. “Come and enjoy Lahore, is my message,” Arthur is quoted a saying by Cricbuzz, “The people of Pakistan and the fans are going to enjoy your presence. You are going to be overawed by the occasion. It is going to be a sell out.”

The decision to hold the the match in Lahore was taken when a World XI side played a three-match T20I series in the city. The series went without any glitches with the touring players commending the security measures in place. All three matches witnessed sellout crowds. “I am incredibly excited that Sri Lanka are going to come,” said Arthur, “Having watched the World XI, the atmosphere was unbelievable. The anticipation and the excitement of the crowd was sensational. To have the World XI coming was amazing, but it will mean even more that the Sri Lankans are coming. To have a nation versus nation competition is what the fans want.”

International cricket has not been played in Pakistan since an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009. Since then, Pakistan have been playing their home matches in the UAE. The Sri Lankan government had, at the time, stated that it will give “highest consideration to the invitation extended to it to undertake visit again” but no series has happened since. “Historically the two countries have had good relationships. The security around Lahore is second to none and I am happy the game is taking place. It is the right thing to do.”

The Sri Lankan players have since reportedly mellowed their stance after the support staff agreed to the Lahore match. It was chat with Arthur that they were convinced of the safety of the match. “I had a chat with Asanka (Gurusinha) and Nic (Pothas) and I told them that I had never felt any threat in Lahore at all,” said Arthur, “We are incredibly looked after. Lahore is a great city. I went and saw that they have got this thing called city safe project. They have CCTV cameras and everything is well protected.”

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