Sports

LAHORE – Pakistan and Sri Lanka teams will arrive in Lahore tonight amid massive security. Both the teams will play the third and final T20I match of the series on Sunday (tomorrow) and this will be a history-making moment for the Pakistan.

The Sri Lankan team, led by all-rounder Thisara Perera after Upal Tharanga pulled out of the fixture, will depart from Abu Dhabi at 10pm and touch down in Lahore at 2:25am, reports Geo TV on Saturday.

Pakistan squad will depart from Dubai via a different flight tonight and reach Lahore at 1:50am.

The Green Shirts already lead the T20I series 2-0, after beating Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the opening game and winning a last-ball thriller in the second T20I.

Sunday’s game will mark the homecoming of top-level international cricket as Sri Lanka become the first major cricket team to visit Pakistan since they were targeted in a deadly ambush in 2009 — with attack survivors among those returning to the scene.

Security will be high-alert before and after the match as parts of the city near the stadium will be cordoned off, with shops and restaurants around the venue to be shut for the duration of the game while spectators will have to pass through multiple security checkpoints.

Since the 2009 attack, Pakistan have been forced to play most of their “home” games in the United Arab Emirates — with the Pakistan Cricket Board complaining they have incurred losses of around $120 million.

But security has dramatically improved across Pakistan in the last two years, signalling hopes for the slow revival of international sport in the country.

In September 2017, a World XI side led by South Africa’s Faf du Plessis plays three official T20s in Lahore. Pakistan wins the series 2-1. Other big names that make the trip include George Bailey, David Miller, Hashim Amla, Samuel Badree and veteran Paul Collingwood.

Pakistan, this year in March, successfully hosted the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore with English players Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan, West Indies’ Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels and South Africa’s Morne van Wyk and Zimbabwe’s Sean Ervine competing.