Karachi: Incessant rain threatened the first day-night international between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Friday, the first in Karachi for 10 years. The pitch and its adjoining areas were covered as the scheduled toss at 2:30 pm (0930 GMT) was delayed with both teams inside their dressing rooms.
Karachi has not hosted a one-day international since January 2009 when Sri Lanka played two back-to-back matches at the National Stadium. But in March of that year, during the same tour, the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in Lahore -- forcing the suspension of international cricket in Pakistan.
Pakistan, forced to play home matches in the neutral venues of the United Arab Emirates, convinced Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to send their team, assuring them of stringent security with 2,000 personnel guarding the teams around the hotel and stadium.
Ten top Sri Lankan players, including their ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne and former captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, withdrew from the tour. The tour was stalled after SLC received threats of possible terror attacks on their team in Pakistan before getting the all-clear last week.
The remaining two ODIs will be played in Karachi on Sunday and Wednesday. Sri Lanka will also play three Twenty20 internationals in Lahore on October 5, 7 and 9.