Test cricket returns to Pakistan for first time in ten years | News | DW | 15.12.2019
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Test cricket returns to Pakistan for first time in ten years

Test cricket returned to Pakistan for the first time since a deadly terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009. Rain meant the match ended in a draw but nothing dampened Pakistan's enthusiasm.

Test cricket returned to Pakistan for the first time in ten years, after terrorists launched a deadly gun attack against touring Sri Lankan cricket team's bus in Lahore in 2009.

Sri Lanka, the team that was the subject of the 2009 attack, returned to play the test match against Pakistan at the Rawalpindi stadium. Despite the historic occasion, the match ended in a draw on Sunday after being called off due to bad weather and light conditions.

Read more: Are international sports returning to Pakistan?

Since the attack, Pakistan's national cricket team has played its test home matches on neutral territory, mostly in the United Arab Emirates, despite the game being the country's top sport.

Gates were opened to the crowds for free and around 12,000 cricket fans turned out on the fifth and final day of the match.

Playing at home is a 'totally different experience'

Pakistan opener Abid Ali became the first batsman to score a debut hundred in both Test and one-day international cricket.

Abid finished with 109 not out and Babar Azam was unbeaten on 102 as Pakistan scored 252-2 in reply to Sri Lanka's first innings total of 308-6 declared.

Read more: Can the Bundesliga make it big in South Asia?

Dhananjaya de Silva, Sri Lankan batsman, also scored his sixth test century, scoring an unbeaten 102.

"It's a totally different experience (to play at home) and I want to thank the crowd. Everyone knew there wouldn't be a result but they all came out. As a team we've not had this kind of support for 9-10 years," said Pakistan capitain, Azhar Ali.

The 2009 attack took place about 500 meters from the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore. Eight people were killed including six policemen and several of the players and officials sustained shrapnel injuries.

Following the attack, Pakistan was stripped of its 2011 Cricket World Cup hosting rights.

kmm/rc (AFP/Reuters)

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