By Srian Obeyesekere reporting from Sharjah
Sri Lanka has won accolades from the people of Pakistan for the magnanimous gesture by the Sri Lankan cricket authorities Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to play Pakistan in the third T20 match in Lahore on October 29. Several Pakistan cricket observers told me that the great decision by Sri Lanka would effectively open the window for international cricket to return to Pakistan after 8 years.
Accordingly, the Pakistan cricket authorities are eagerly looking forward to staging the third T20 match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Lahore on October 29. Already the necessary final arrangements are being put in place with online ticket sales picking up by the day, according to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sources who said that the cricket loving public of Pakistan are looking forward with great enthusiasm to see cricket journeying back to their homeland. The first phase of online ticket sales for the Lahore match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan was launched by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday.
The match will mark the first-ever visit by a major Test playing country since the attack on Sri Lanka team in 2009. The first phase online ticket sales cover at least seven enclosures at comparatively lower prices than what it carried for three-match Independence series between Pakistan and World XI.
Tickets for the Wasim Akram enclosure are 5,000 PKR, the price was previously as high as 8,000 PKR. The price for Imran Khan and Fazal Mahmood enclosures have been brought down to 3,000 from 6,000 rupees.
Tickets for Abdul Qadir, AH Kardar, Javed Miandad and Rajas enclosures stands at 1500 rupees. During World XI matches, these tickets were sold for 4,000 PKR.
The tickets for remaining enclosures will be available from Friday, according to PCB sources.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s BBC correspondent Rasheed Shakoor told me that international cricket coming back to Pakistan would be a big boost for Pakistan cricket at a time the game has come to a standstill for 8 years.
“From a cricket point of view, it will be a massive success for Pakistan. Indeed, the Pakistan people do wholeheartedly appreciate the gesture of Sri Lanka in sending a team to Pakistan. Here is a capacity crowd intake of nearly 20,000 people at the Lahore Stadium which would be glued to applaud the Sri Lankan cricketers and the Sri Lankan cricket authorities for the magnanimous decision to play in Pakistan,” Shakoor commented.
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-