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LAHORE: The ODI leg of Pakistan’s tour to Sri Lanka has been scrapped, with just the two Tests now slated to take place in July, it emerged on Monday
Pakistan was originally slated to play two Tests and three one-day internationals when the men’s team are to visit Sri Lanka in July.
However, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed to a local daily that the ODIs had been scrapped at the request of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC)
He said that SLC had requested the board to drop the three ODIs so that they could begin the Lanka Premier League (LPL) earlier. “The ODIs are not part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League and SLC is facing financial challenges, so the PCB accepted the request,” the official added.
The spokesperson went on to say that the itinerary for the two Test matches was being worked out but said they would be played in the agreed upon window (July 5 to August 9).
Meanwhile, SLC CEO Ashley de Silva told ESPNcricinfo: “The ODIs wouldn’t have been a part of the World Super League, so we decided against playing them.”
The news comes as Sri Lanka is suffering from a worsening economic crisis. Months of blackouts and acute shortages of food, fuel and medicines have caused widespread suffering across the South Asian island, which is enduring its worst-ever economic downturn.
The last time Sri Lanka met Pakistan in Tests was in 2019. That series marked the first Tests to be played in Pakistan since the 2009 Lahore attacks. It ended 1-0 in the hosts’ favour. Sri Lanka are currently in Bangladesh for a two-match Test series due to start on May 15.