Sanath Jayasuriya was not a member of the Sri Lankan team which last toured Pakistan (2009) where the second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka had been called off following the attack on the bus carrying the tourists’ team in Lahore.
Now the former Sri Lanka captain will lead the World XI in Pakistan. The match is scheduled to be played against the Pakistani team and both teams will have current as well as ‘not retired’ players. The Pakistani team for the two Twenty20 matches will be led by their local hero Shahid Afridi. “Whatever had happened to our national team (on March 3, 2009) was bad, but yes, I have no security fear now and both teams will play the matches for the noble cause,” Jayasuriya, speaking exclusively from Colombo, said.
The players will be staying in Shereton Hotel and the presidential-level security has been assured to the players, it is learnt here.
“Pakistan is our neighbouring country and when the match is being arranged for the charity cause (flood relief), we had no hesitation to go there,” he added.
Several players from South Africa, West Indies and Afghanistan have agreed to participate in two matches. The organisers have also been trying to invite Farveez Maharoof for this four-day trip. The 29-year-old Sri Lankan all-rounder was a member of the touring ODI team in 2009, but was later withdrawn for the Test matches.
“Yes, I await government permission to travel to Pakistan,” the cricketer-turned politician, Jayasuriya added. “But since the match is being organised by the Sind Province, I see no difficulty,” he said. Organisers have Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) blessings to host both matches at the international venue, National Stadium in Karachi.
courtesy: The Nation