Misbah-ul-Haq urges other countries to follow Sri Lanka's footsteps to help revive cricket in Pakistan
After plenty of drama and withdrawal of some of the key players from the Sri Lankan camp, the Islanders have arrived in Pakistan for a limited-overs tour in the troubled country. Thus, this will be only the second bilateral series in Pakistan since the infamous 2009 Lahore attack, which led to a narrow escape of the then Sri Lankan cricketers.
Ahead of the ODI series, starting from September 27, Pakistan newly-appointed head coach and former skipper Misbah-ul-Haq urged the other countries to take a leaf out of Sri Lankan cricket and help revive cricket in the troubled country.
"Cricket world need to do more, not only for Pakistan but for any country where it is hit. I know it would have been a tough decision for Sri Lanka to tour. Pakistan is a cricket-loving country and it would be injustice to deprive them of international cricket, so I hope that the world will support us more and more," the former cricketer-turned-coach told the reporters in the pre-series media interaction.
This will be the second ODI series to be hosted by Pakistan since the infamous terror attacks of 2009. Zimbabwe were the first side to tour the Men in Green back in 2015 whereas West Indies, Sri Lanka and World XI followed suit from thereon. Nonetheless, the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side continue to play the majority of their 'home games' in their adopted home ground, in UAE, and are working desperately to bring cricket back in their country.
With the Sri Lanka series, Pakistan will certainly hope to give plenty to cheer for their home crowd and urge the other countries to tour the nation. Earlier in 2017, Sri Lanka had played a solitary T20I in the country where they were demolished by the hosts by 36 runs in Lahore.
This will also be the start of a new era in Pakistan cricket under Misbah's coaching tenure. After the disappointments of the 2019 World Cup, the Men in Green will look to embark upon a new cricketing cycle with desirable results in front of their home fans.