Sri Lanka to host Pakistan in Pallekele

Colombo: Sri Lanka will host Pakistan for a Test match at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium for the first time during a major Test, ODI and T-20 cricket series starting next month.

Pallekele has hosted just one Test after it was commissioned in preparation for the 2011 World Cup and the match, which was against the West Indies, was a washout in November 2010.

The Pakistanis are scheduled to arrive on May 29 and start the tour with two T-20 games in Hambantota, a venue that will host the T-20 World Cup in September.

Pallekele has been selected as the venue for the third Test in anticipation of crowd patronage which Sri Lanka Cricket believes is important.

“There was no contest to pick Pallekele. Like Galle it is also a venue that can draw a crowd”, said Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga.

Galle will host the first Test followed by the SSC ground in Colombo hosting the second Test.

Ranatunga said the SSC and P. Sara Oval will be the two main venues in Colombo to host Test matches whenever possible.

The last time Pakistan toured Sri Lanka was in 2009 when they lost a three-Test series 2-0 but experts predict a different series this time with the Pakistanis fielding new and better players and raising their game as they did to beat Sri Lanka 1-0 in three-Test series in the UAE last November.

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