Pakistan to play Tests in Galle, Colombo
Pakistan will play Tests in Galle and Colombo in August, as well as three ODIs spread across the major limited-over venues in Sri Lanka, SLC has confirmed.
Although Pakistan would have played their last Test in January, they are not scheduled to play a first-class practice match in the lead-up to the series, partly because several Pakistan players will be competing in the Caribbean Premier League. A 10-day training camp is believed to be in the works, though.
Pakistan arrive in Sri Lanka on August 2, four days before the Galle Test begins. The P Sara Oval will host the second Test, starting August 14, before Pakistan play a 50-over warm-up in Moratuwa on August 20. Hambantota, Pallekele and Premadasa Stadiums will host the ODIs on August 23, 27 and 30. The teams will not play a T20I.
The tour will be Sri Lanka's third in quick succession - all featuring two Tests - following the trip to England and the home series against South Africa. Neither the Pakistan series nor the South Africa tour had been prescribed for 2014 in the Future Tours Programme - though the Tests against South Africa had been deferred from last year.
Pakistan were facing a six-month drought ahead of their next international fixture after the World T20 but the PCB struck up a quick deal with SLC on the sidelines of the April ICC meeting in Dubai, to reduce the gap. The series will kick off a busy season for them, with full series against Australia and New Zealand shortly after, in the UAE.
With these two Tests, both Sri Lanka and Pakistan will bring their 2014 tally to nine matches, provided all matches are played as scheduled. It will also be the second time the teams have squared off in a bilateral series in eight months - Sri Lanka played three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s in the UAE in December and January. They also played each other in two Asia Cup fixtures. The teams shared the Test series in the UAE, while Sri Lanka had won their previous Test series at home 1-0.
Pakistan have played Sri Lanka in five series over the past five years - home and away in 2009, followed by Pakistan hosting Sri Lanka in 2011 and touring Sri Lanka in 2012.