Sharjah - All-rounder Thisara Perera will lead a 16-man Sri Lankan squad for
the three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan announced on Saturday,
the last of which will be played in Lahore.
Th Sri Lankan team
will return to Pakistan for the first time since gunmen attacked their
bus in Lahore in March 2009, forcing international teams to shun tours
of Pakistan over security fears.
The first two matches will be
played in Abu Dhabi on October 26 and 27 before the Sri Lankan team
tours Pakistan in a fly-in, fly-out arrangement of 24 hours.
The last match will be played in Lahore on October 29.
Lankan limited overs captain Upul Tharanga, fast bowler Lasith Malinga,
current team spearhead Suranga Lakmal, and batsmen Niroshan Dickwella
and Chamara Kapugedara reportedly withdrew from the tour of Pakistan
over security fears.
Malinga was not selected for the ongoing
one-day series in United Arab Emirates (UAE) but had reportedly
requested the Sri Lankan ministry to chose a different team for Lahore,
which was rejected.
Lakmal and Kapugedara were part of the squad
which was attacked during the second Test in Lahore eight years ago,
which left eight people killed and seven visiting team members and
support staff were injured.
The 28-year-old Perera, appointed
captain for the first time, toured Pakistan as member of a World XI for a
three-match Twenty20 international series played in Lahore last month.
World XI series was part of Pakistan Cricket Board's effort to revive
international cricket in the country, which also included the staging of
the Pakistan Super League final in March this year.
hosted Zimbabwe for a five-match limited overs series in 2015 but
bigger teams like Australia, India, England, New Zealand and South
Africa have refused to tour there.
That forced Pakistan to play their home matches in neutral venues in UAE.
Pakistan currently leads the five-match one-day series 4-0 with the last match in Sharjah on Monday.
Later Minod Bhanuka's name was added to the squad to fill in the gap of a wicket-keeper.
Lanka T20I squad:
Thisara Perera (captain), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka
Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ashan Priyanjan, Mahela Udawatte,
Dasun Shanaka, Sachith Pathirana, Vikum Sanjaya, Lahiru Gamage, Seekkuge
Prasanna, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay,
Chathuranga de Silva, Minod Bhanuka