Pakistan to host Test cricket for first time in 10 years

Test cricket will return to Pakistan for the first time in 10 years with the visit of Sri Lanka next month.

The country’s cricket board (PCB) has confirmed Sri Lanka will play two matches, in Rawalpindi from December 11 and Karachi from December 19.

Pakistan last hosted Test cricket in 2009 when Sri Lanka were again the visitors.

Their team bus was attacked in Lahore, leaving six security personnel and two civilians dead. Six players were injured.

Zakir Khan, the PCB’s director of international cricket, said: “This is fabulous news for Pakistan and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world.”

Pakistan have played ‘home’ Test matches in the United Arab Emirates since the attack, although they have hosted one-day and T20 matches in recent years.

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Sri Lanka visited for three ODIs and three T20s in September and October, although 10 players missed the trip citing security concerns.

Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ashley de Silva said: “We are pleased to confirm our return visit to Pakistan as, based on our earlier visit, we are comfortable and convinced conditions are suitable and conducive for Test cricket.

“We also believe all cricket playing countries should host international cricket at home and in this relation we are happy to play our part in complete resumption of international cricket in Pakistan.