- Title: Sri Lanka captain "feels really safe" ahead of second Pakistan test
- Date: 18th December 2019
- Summary: KARACHI, PAKISTAN (DECEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** NET PRACTICE IN PROGRESS SRI LANKA TEAM GETTING READY FOR NET PRACTICE VARIOUS OF SRI LANKA TEAM PRACTICING VARIOUS OF PAKISTANI TEAM PRACTICING PANNING SHOT OF BOTH TEAMS PRACTICING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SRI LANKA CAPTAIN DIMUTH KARUNARATNE, SAYING: "For me, now it feels really safe. You know, the guys who (are) giving us security will give their hundred percent. Not hundred percent, more than hundred percent. That's why we feel really good. That's why we went out for dinner as well. So for me and my team, we feel really safe here. So, I can say that Pakistan now is safe for the cricket, but I can't tell the Bangladesh team they should come and play, but I can say my opinion: me and my team feel really safe in Pakistan. " REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SRI LANKA CAPTAIN DIMUTH KARUNARATNE ON MISSING ODI SERIES IN PAKISTAN SAYING: "Yes. Now I regret but I think at that time it was really a hard decision to take because I had never been in Pakistan, and something about Pakistan in news and social media not good, not positive things. But once the guys who come here before, they said really good comments. And that is why we all the guys, all the seniors desire that we should go and play a good test series, and once we were here, I think itâ€™s (been) really good. Now I really regret (that I didn't) come and play in the one days (internationals). But definitely in future, we will, hopefully, all the players will come and play whatever format we play in Pakistan." PAKISTANI SKIPPER AZHAR ALI AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) PAKISTAN SKIPPER, AZHAR ALI, SAYING: "It is really great that international cricket is slowly coming back to Pakistan, and especially test cricket. It was the wish of all of us that there should be test cricket in Pakistan and we should play in front of our home crowd. So it is really something to be happy about. At the same time, it is a test championship and we want to make this a memorable occasion by winning this test match. So, God willing, we are going to try our best to perform as a team in this test match and produce a good result." JOURNALISTS
- Embargoed: 1st January 2020 12:51
- Keywords: ali cricket karunratne pakistan sri lanka
- Location: KARACHI, PAKISTAN
- City: KARACHI, PAKISTAN
- Country: Pakistan
- Topics: Cricket,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001BAI6R0F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne on Wednesday (December 18) said he and his team were very satisfied with security arrangements in Pakistan and felt very safe.
Karunaratne, who spoke in Karachi on the eve of the second Test with Pakistan, appreciated the efforts by the Pakistani security officials, who he said had made his team feel one hundred per cent safe.
"The guys who (are) giving us security will give their hundred percent. Not hundred percent, more than hundred percent. That's why we feel really good. That's why we went out for dinner as well. So for me and my team, we feel really safe here. So, I can say that Pakistan now is safe for the cricket," he said.
Asked if visiting Pakistan for the series had changed his perception about the country, Karunaratne said he regretted his earlier decision of not touring Pakistan in September/October for an ODI series.
Test cricket returned to Pakistan after a decade when the Sri Lankan team arrived in Islamabad on Monday (December 09) to play World Test Championship matches in the country.
This is the first international Test cricket series in Pakistan since a March 2009 gun attack on a visiting Sri Lankan team in which eight people were killed and several players were wounded.
Since then, because of security concerns, the majority of Pakistan's home Test matches were played in the United Arab Emirates.
Security was tight across the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near capital Islamabad, where the first Test was played from December 11-15. The second Test will be played at National Stadium in Karachi from December 19-23.
Pakistani Skipper Azhar Ali told the news conference fans in the cricket-obsessed country were delighted that International cricket was slowly returning to Pakistan.
Security is expected to be very tight for the second Test which begins on Thursday (December 19).
(Production: Waseem Sattar, Waseem Sattar, Sheree Shardar)
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