Emotional Azhar thanks Sri Lanka as Karunaratne says: It's safe to play in Pakistan

By Sports Desk December 23, 2019

Azhar Ali offered heartfelt thanks to Sri Lanka following the successful return of Test cricket to Pakistan.

The hosts completed a 263-run win in the second Test in Karachi on Monday, 16-year-old seamer Naseem Shah finishing with five wickets as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 212.

However, while Pakistan could therefore celebrate a series victory, after a drawn first Test in Rawalpindi, the resumption of Test cricket in the country following a 10-year hiatus provided much greater satisfaction.

Prior to this two-match series, Tests had not been played in Pakistan since March 2009, when six policemen and two civilians were killed in an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.

A decade on, Sri Lanka's return was the source of much pride and happiness, as Pakistan captain Azhar noted in his post-match comments.

"Special thanks to Sri Lanka from the bottom of our hearts," said Azhar. "They have given us immense happiness by playing in Pakistan. It was an emotional moment returning home to play."

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne hailed the security staff who have looked after his side during their tour.

"The security was really good," he said in a news conference. "We knew we were secure and we feel safe here.

"I just want to thank all of the security guards who gave us security, the Pakistan Cricket Board and all of the fans of Pakistan. They were really good.

"For me, I can say for now it's really safe here. All of the other countries, all the nations who play cricket, they can come and play cricket here. It's safe to play in Pakistan."

Related items

  • ‘Greatest moment in India cricket?’ – WI cricket analyst Mohammed agrees win over Aussies, India’s finest Test triumph ‘Greatest moment in India cricket?’ – WI cricket analyst Mohammed agrees win over Aussies, India’s finest Test triumph

    Noted West Indian cricket analyst Fazeer Mohammed believes India’s triumph over Australia at the historic Brisbane Cricket Ground could indeed be the greatest moment in India cricket.

    Of course, the Asian team has claimed the ICC World Cup twice, first in 1983 and then again in 2011.  But, the special circumstance surrounding the team’s spirit defense of the Border-Gavaskar trophy, for this particular series will put the historical result right alongside the best of them.

    Shorn of some of its most experienced players, due to injury, and having seen inspirational captain Virat Kohli head back to India after just one Test for the birth of his daughter, few expected India to be able to make the series competitive, let alone retain the trophy.

    In addition, the team allegedly faced racism from the crowd during the Test in Sydney.  Perhaps it was fitting it came down to the last hour of the final day with all four results a possibility.

    Spurred on by Rishabh Pant who stayed not out and hit a wonderful 89, young opener, Shunhman Gill also contributed with 91 at the top and the gritty Cheteshwar Pujara who held up his end for 56.

    Prior to the unlikely triumph on enemy territory, no team had chased more than 236 at the Gabba, a ground Australia had not lost a Test since 1988.

    “It wasn’t just solid, it was inspirational,” Mohammed told the SportsMax Zone.

    “All of the experts when it comes to Indian cricket, I can’t fault what any of them have said…when you try your best and put it into context with all of the different issues and primarily the loss of almost all of their prominent player throughout the four-Test matches, being routed for 36 in the first Test.  Everyone had written them off with the departure of Kohli.

     “To see Ajinkya Rahane holding the trophy, not with a drawn series but with a historic victory, they don’t win at Brisbane, no one beats Australia at Brisbane.  When you lump everything together, when you put all of the contexts of the individual players and their own personal journeys, to this point it has to be the greatest moment in Indian cricket, certainly when it comes to Test cricket”

     

     

  • Kings XI Punjab set to resign Gayle, will release Cottrell Kings XI Punjab set to resign Gayle, will release Cottrell

    Indian Premier League (IPL) club Kings XI Punjab are expected to predictably retain West Indian star batsman Chris Gayle but will release his compatriot Sheldon Cottrell ahead of the new season.

    The 31-year-old pace bowler was bought for a sizeable INR 8.5 crore ($US1,156,239) during the IPL 2020 auction but failed to justify the price tag.  In six matches, Cottrell bowled 20 overs, claiming 6 wickets for 176 runs at an expensive economy rate of 8.80.  Unfortunately, perhaps the player's biggest moment came after being on the wrong side of thrashing from Rajasthan Royals Rahul Tewatia, who smashed 5 sixes off one of his overs during a record run chase.

    Gayle, on the other hand, was sensational.  Despite starting the season on the sidelines, the big left-hander became the driving force behind the team's push for a playoff spot, although it ended with the team narrowly missing out on 6th spot.  The West Indian had been left on the bench for the first seven games of the season.  He was not picked for the first five, and food poisoning ruled him out for the next two.  He ended with 288 runs at an average of 44.14 and a high score of 99.

    India batsman Karun Nair is also expected to be released but the team remains undecided on Australian Glenn Maxwell, who had a mediocre IPL season but had a splendid series against India.

      

  • Windies suffer six-wicket loss in ODI opener against Bangladesh in Dhaka Windies suffer six-wicket loss in ODI opener against Bangladesh in Dhaka

    The West Indies suffered a humiliating six-wicket loss to Bangladesh in the first of three ODI’s today, going down by six wickets with 97 balls to spare in the match played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.