Pakistan cricketers start preparations for upcoming Sri Lanka tour
Islamabad: Pakistan`s national cricket team has started preparations for their upcoming Sri Lanka tour starting this month-end with a 10-day training session under Australian coach Dav Whatmore.
The camp started Wednesday afternoon at the National Cricket Academy in the country`s eastern city of Lahore in which all players selected for the tour will take part in training, lectures and warm-up matches.
The Pakistani team will leave for their six-week tour to Sri Lanka May 29 and will start their tour after a couple of days when both teams will play a Twenty20 International match in Hambantota June 1.
During this 10-day training camp, the Pakistani players will attend a series of training and net sessions May 16-19 before playing two 50-over day-night practice matches May 20 and 22 followed by back-to-back two Twenty20 matches May 24 and 25.
On the very first day of training, the Pakistani team had to face an unpleasant news when doctors ruled out left-hand opener Nasir Jamshed from the team for more than six weeks because he broke his finger during a practice match.
The team`s foreign coach Whatmore, addressing a press conference, said the Pakistani team is capable of defeating Sri Lanka at their home despite the hosts` home ground and crowd advantages.
"Definitely the hosts will be having their own advantages but my team is fully prepared to take on Sri Lankan challenge in a decent way by exhibiting professionalism," Whatmore, who led the Sri Lankan team to the World Cup 1996 triumph, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), for the first time, has selected different teams for the three formats while including six uncapped players. All-rounder Muhammad Hafeez will lead Pakistan`s T20 team in two matches while the One-day international and Test squads will be led by Misbah-ul-Haq.
Pakistan, the number fifth Test team in world ranking, last visited Sri Lanka in 2009 when they lost the Test match series 0-2. But this time the Pakistani team is going with an upper hand as it had beaten Sri Lanka in the last three-match Test series 1-0 in the United Arab Emirates (neutral venue) in October 2011. Since 1982, both teams have played 40 Test matches out of which Pakistan have won 16 and lost nine while 15 were drawn.