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Sri Lanka arrive in Pakistan for first Test tour since 2009 attack

The first Test starts in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Wednesday, while the second begins in Karachi on December 19

AFP | PTI  |  Rawalpindi (Pakistan) 

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arrived for the first Test cricket tour of in 10 years on Monday following the deadly 2009 attack on their team that plunged into sporting isolation.

"The arrival of Sri Lankan team is a historic occasion and we are delighted to host the two-match Test series starting from Wednesday," said Cricket Board chief executive Waseem Khan.

The first Test starts in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Wednesday, while the second begins in Karachi on December 19.

A video tweeted by the PCB showed the Sri Lankan team arriving in Islamabad and being escorted by armed security forces.

The tour marks the return of Test cricket to Pakistan after a decade of isolation triggered by the attack in Lahore, which killed eight people and wounded several cricketers.

For years, Pakistan has been forced to play all its home matches in neutral venue the United Arab Emirates as foreign teams refused to tour the country over security fears.

But as security has improved Pakistan has hosted a smattering of smaller matches including Twenty20 series with Zimbabwe and the West Indies, and an increasing number of domestic league matches featuring international players.

But until now no team has returned for a Test match, the five-day format considered the pinnacle of the game.

toured Pakistan for three one-day internationals and as many Twenty20s in September and October, and said they were satisfied with the security arrangements before confirming the Test tour.

First Published: Mon, December 09 2019. 13:10 IST