Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: Sarfaraz Ahmed wants Pakistani fans to come out in large numbers for home series
Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed feels the upcoming home series with Sri Lanka has the potential to stand as one of the major highlights in his glittering career for the Green Army. Sri Lanka have named their 'B-team' for the Pakistan tour keeping the security fears in mind. Star players Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews had all deliberately missed the bus to Pakistan, who are hosting a 50-overs series for the first time since 2015.
Minnows Zimbabwe were the last team to visit Pakistan for 50-overs bilateral series in May 2015. Sarfaraz was recently reappointed as the Pakistan captain in white-ball cricket despite recording a World Cup to forget for the 1992 champions this summer. The reigning ICC Champions Trophy holders failed to enter the knockout stage of the format in the recently concluded ICC World Cup hosted by England and Wales.
Eager to start his second spell as Pakistan captain on winning note, Sarfaraz has high expectations from the homes series that can put Pakistan back on the map. The Pakistani captain believes the three-match opera between hosts and Sri Lanka will mark the memorable occasion on his home soil. The 31-year-old wants the fans of the Green Army to come out in large numbers when both sides enter the pitch in Karachi.
"Leading the Pakistan cricket team in a bilateral ODI series in front of my home crowd will be one of the highlights of my career," Sarfaraz said. "I can't wait for Friday, which will mark the memorable occasion, and I hope when I walk out, I have a full-house behind me, not only cheering me but both the sides," he added.
Sri Lanka's mediocre side touched down Pakistani on Tuesday and were pleased with the security arrangements made by the host nation. Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka said that he was satisfied with security arrangements and was happy to lead the Sri Lankan national team in Pakistan. The three-match series will be played at Karachi's National Stadium.
"Fans are the lifeline for any sport as they are the driving force for any team or player. They give extra energy to the teams and help them produce their very best," the Pakistani skipper concluded.