“There was a slight concern about Thirimanne, he had some pain on one of his discs, that’s what the physio said,” said team manager Ashantha de Mel. “But so far they have said that it is nothing serious and hopefully he will be alright.”
De Mel said that Thirimanne complained of a pain in his back when he was running. “At the moment he is not under any pain or anything but by Friday we will know exactly his situation. More or less I think he should be okay,” De Mel said.
The rest of the ODI and T20I squad have been under training in the gym and De Mel said that they will have their first practice sessions under lights on September 19 and 20 at the R Premadasa Stadium.
“The team is doing their normal work out and getting prepared, once they get the clearance they will go,” said De Mel.
Sri Lanka named two separate squads for the tour 15-member squad under the captaincy of Thirimanne for the ODIs and a 16-member squad led by all-rounder Dasun Shanaka for the T20Is. As there is a difference of only one player between the two squads, the teams will leave together.
Sri Lanka’s tour to Pakistan was put under a cloud last week when the Prime Minister’s Office received reliable information of a possible terrorist threat on the Sri Lanka team while touring Pakistan.
Following that information Sri Lanka Cricket said that it wanted to reassess the security situation in Pakistan and have sought the assistance of the Defence Ministry for clearance to make the tour.
In the meantime according to the Pakistan Urdu daily ‘Daily Jang’ the ICC is also carrying out its own independent review of the security situation in Pakistan before appointing its match officials (neutral umpires and match referees) for the ODI and T20I series.
The ICC will analyse the security plans to be put in place by the Pakistan government before appointing their match officials.
Commenting on the ICC’s independent survey of the security in Pakistan De Mel said, “That is a good guideline. If the ICC feels that it is safe then there is some justification.”
The last time an international series was played in Pakistan against Zimbabwe in 2015 the ICC did not appoint any neutral match officials and asked both the countries to oversee cricketing matters.
International teams have shied away from touring Pakistan since 2009 on the grounds of security after the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked by terrorists during a tour there.
The Sri Lanka team is due to leave for Pakistan on September 24 and play a series of three ODIs in Karachi on September 27, 29 and October 2 and three T20Is in Lahore on October 5, 7 and 9.