Sri Lanka team arrives in Islamabad ahead of Test series

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Sri Lanka team arrives in Islamabad ahead of Test series
Sri Lanka’s cricket team arrived in Islamabad on Monday ahead of their Test series against Pakistan starting on December 11.

Test cricket is returning to Pakistan after over a decade as the Sri Lankan team plays its World Test Championship matches in the country. The first Test will start on Wednesday at Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi followed by a second Test at National Stadium in Karachi from December 19-23.

Sri Lankan fast bowler Suranga Lakmal will miss the two-match Test series after contracting dengue fever, Sri Lanka’s cricket board announced on Sunday. He will be replaced by Asitha Fernando, who will join the squad for the second match of the series.

Sri Lanka have also given former skipper Dinesh Chandimal a chance to fight his way back into the national team, now led by Dimuth Karunaratne.

Meanwhile, Fawad Alam was a surprise inclusion in Pakistan’s 16-member squad announced on Saturday. The squad will be led by Azhar Ali.

In September, Sri Lanka’s national cricket squad had arrived in Pakistan for a tour comprising three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 matches. Ten senior players citing security concerns had opted out of the tour.

Squads:

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Osh­ada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhan­anjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, and Lakshan Sandakan. Substitute player from the end Test: Asitha Fernando.

Pakistan: Azhar Ali (captain), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket keeper), Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, and Usman Shinwari.