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P
PPI
October 11, 2019

SL coach hopes for more international cricket in Pakistan

Sports

P
PPI
October 11, 2019

KARACHI: Sri Lanka coach Rumesh Ratnayake has called their recently-concluded tour of Pakistan “a message for the whole world”, and hoped the series will encourage other countries to play in the country.

“This tour is a message for the whole world, and especially a message for future Sri Lankans,” Ratnayake said, while praising the hospitality and security his team received in Pakistan.

“This has gone very smoothly. It will also encourage many other countries to be here,” he said. “To experience the hospitality of Pakistan is a great thing. I’ve experienced it after a long, long time, and if anything, it’s gotten even better. It was a lot of hard work for the whole system to have us here,” he added.

“You’ve done a great job in having us here and the security has been impeccable. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it, even though some of us came in doubt. But the doubt has been taken out now.”

Sri Lanka were originally scheduled to play two Tests in Pakistan, but with several of their high-profile players expressing reservations about the tour, the cricket boards of the two countries came to an agreement and made it a limited-overs affair.

Pakistan won the three-match One-day International series 2-0 after the opening game was washed out. However, the visitors bounced back to stun Pakistan and win the T20 series 3-0.

Ratnayake said the prospect of eventually playing a Test series in Pakistan seemed likely after the top-notch security arrangements provided to them. “We’ll try and convince them (the players) as much as we can, but we cannot enforce anything. Hopefully, they will change (their mind) after the success of this series,” he said.

“The crowd has been the same as it was 30 years ago, it hasn’t changed. It was very touching when they were holding up signs saying, ‘Welcome Sri Lanka’, and it was very moving to see that affection from the people.”

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