Rain forces suspension of play in historic Pakistan Test

Groundkeepers work to remove water from covers following overnight heavy rainfalls during the third-day of the first cricket test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 13 December 2019

Rain forces suspension of play in historic Pakistan Test

  • Only 27 minutes of play was possible before the players walked off
  • Despite the poor weather, schoolchildren were thrilled when Pakistan players take selfies with them

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan's first home Test in a decade was affected by bad weather Friday, with rain and an already sodden pitch forcing officials to suspend play on the third day of the contest against Sri Lanka.
After day three's first session was washed out by wet weather, only 27 minutes of play was possible before the players walked off with just 5.2 overs bowled.
The umpires called off play at 15:35pm local time (10:35 GMT), after only 91 overs of play in three days.
Sri Lanka progressed to 282-6 from an overnight total of 263-6, with Dhananjaya de Silva on 87 -- 13 short of his fourth Test hundred.
Dilruwan Perera was unbeaten on six as stop-start play left the players and some 2,000 fans, mostly schoolkids, frustrated.
On Thursday, rain and poor light kept the teams off the field for all but 83 minutes.
For Pakistan, 16-year-old paceman Naseem Shah (2-83) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (2-58) were the most successful bowlers.
The conditions have put a dampener on the long-awaited return to Test cricket in Pakistan, following the 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka's team bus that left eight people dead and several players and officials wounded.
But despite the poor weather, schoolchildren were thrilled when Pakistan players went to the fence to take selfies with them.
"I am over the moon as I had a selfie with (batsman) Babar Azam and my wish has come true," said Amna Ansari, a school student from Islamabad.
Hamad Ali, from Rawalpindi thanked the Sri Lankan team for touring Pakistan.
"It needed a big heart to come to a country where their team was attacked," Ali said.
"We must thank Sri Lanka and hope more teams will come to our country."
Gradual improvement in security allowed Pakistan to host limited over series between 2015-19 but foreign teams refused to play five-day games.
The second Test starts in Karachi from December 19.


Bangladesh call up uncapped Mahmud for Pakistan tour amid safety debate

Updated 18 January 2020

Bangladesh call up uncapped Mahmud for Pakistan tour amid safety debate

  • Some senior players and coaches have declined to play in Pakistan citing safety concerns
  • Bangladesh will play their T20s in Lahore from Jan. 24 and return to Pakistan for test matches in February

DHAKA: Bangladesh on Saturday called up uncapped fast bowler Hasan Mahmud for their three-match Twenty20 series in Pakistan which has been engulfed by fears over player safety.
Opener Tamim Iqbal returns after skipping a home series against Afghanistan and Zimbabwe and a tour in India. Mosaddek Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Taijul Islam and Abu Hider have been dropped from the squad.
“Hasan is a quick bowler and has a good future. So we thought maybe this is the right time to give him a break,” said Bangladesh Cricket Board’s chief selector MinHajjul Abedin.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim was left out after saying he would not go to Pakistan for security reasons.
A senior BCB official said batting coach Neil McKenzie, spin bowling coach Daniel Vettori and fielding coach Rayan Cook would also not accompany the team.
Mushfiqur, 32, remained adamant that he would not be with the squad when they leave on Wednesday.
“I decided it a long time ago and informed the board. I have submitted a letter too. My family is concerned, and don’t want me to go,” Mushfiqur told reporters late Friday.
He has also kept his name off the draft for the Pakistan Super League T20 tournament.
“There’s no bigger sin for me than not playing for Bangladesh. But I had refused an offer to play in the PSL after finding out that the tournament will be entirely held in Pakistan,” he said.
“I agree that things have improved in Pakistan, but I will gain confidence when I see teams going there for the next two years. I have been to Pakistan before, it is a great place to play cricket.”
Mushfiqur’s absence will be a blow for Bangladesh who are already without suspended all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and lost their two recent Tests in India inside three days. “I wish good luck to our team,” he said.
Bangladesh play their T20s in Lahore from January 24-27 before returning home. They will go back to Pakistan for the first Test starting February 7 and visit again to play a one day international in Karachi on April 3 and the second Test from April 5.
Bangladesh squad: Mahmudullah (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim, Nazmul Hossain, Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Afif Hossain, Mahadi Hasan, Aminul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Hasan Mahmud.