COLOMBO: Sri Lanka yesterday turned down a request from Pakistan to play day-night Tests in the upcoming series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where both countries have loyal fans.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said it decided against playing day-night Tests “since the national team players have not practised under lights and with the new pink ball”.
The challenge facing such Tests has been to find a ball that is clearly visible in both sunshine and floodlights, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it had sent the Sri Lankan board a dozen balls of pink and orange colour for them to examine.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) had approved the day-night matches under floodlights as a way to stem dwindling interest in Tests in many countries.
The UAE has a large expatriate Pakistani community but few show up to watch Test matches, in part because they are played during the day when most are at work.
No country has yet tried the new format and the ICC has left it to individual boards to decide when and how to experiment.
Pakistan has been forced to play its “home” internationals at neutral venues, mainly in the UAE, since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team during a Test in Lahore in 2009.
Pakistan host Sri Lanka for three Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20s in December and January in the UAE and Sarwar had thought that the conditions were right to experiment.
Whatmore warns Pakistan against complacency
LAHORE: Pakistan’s cricket coach Dav Whatmore yesterday warned his team against being complacent when they face up to lowly Zimbabwe next week in a tour considered important for blooding new players. The 59-year-old former Australian batsman said the team was training hard for the two Twenty20, three one-day and two Test matches and would not take their opposition lightly.
“We may be playing Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe but they are still very important for Pakistan,” he said. “The danger that I see anyway is complacency. We don’t want to be complacent in any of our make-up with this cricket.”
Pakistan is due to depart on Monday to play the first of two Twenty20 on August 23, with the last Test scheduled to start September 10.
Whatmore, who coached Sri Lanka to World Cup victory in 1996, backed Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez who has struggled for form lately.
“He’s (Hafeez) done pretty well in the format that he captains. We have climbed up the rankings under his leadership. He would obviously like to score more runs, that’s accepted.”
Pakistan clean swept Zimbabwe in all three formats on their last tour in 2011. REUTERS