Pakistani captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and his teammates have urged fans to play in large numbers as the country prepares to host a three-day international series against Sri Lanka on Friday, September 27.
Pakistan last held a bilateral ODI series against Zimbabwe in May 2015, while Karachi, where all three ODIs will be held against Sri Lanka, is preparing to host ODIs for the first time since January 2009.
“The leadership of the Pakistani cricket team in a bilateral ODI series in front of their home crowd will be one of the highlights of my career,” said Sarfaraz on Tuesday.
“I can not wait for Friday, which will be the memorable event, and I hope that when I go out, I have a full house behind me and cheer on both sides, fans are the lifeblood of every sport As you are the driving force for any team or player, they give the teams extra energy and help them to do their best.
“On Friday, history will be written when Karachi hosts the first-ever bilateral ODI series since January 2009. I urge all local cricket fans to be part of the story so they can announce to the next generation that they are participating in an international series in the National Stadium were played. “
Babar Azam, who was appointed Sarfaraz’s substitute for the series, added that it would be “one of my greatest days” to step down in front of a home crowd in the first ODI as the team’s vice-captain.
“I can not thank you enough for the love and respect that I received from all my fans in the early days of my career,” he said. “Friday will be one of my biggest days when I will be vice-captain of Pakistan in the field and I want the whole country and the spectators at the National Stadium to make this day an unforgettable experience.”
Pakistan’s new head coach and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq remembered the time when he appeared as a player for the last time in an ODI in Karachi.
“Friday’s game will be emotional for me as I played in the National Stadium when an ODI was last played against Sri Lanka,” Misbah said. “Ten years later, I’ll start my time as the head coach of the Pakistani national cricket team, so time has passed very quickly.
“With the cricket team starting their international 2019-20 season in Karachi, I hope the spectators are back to encourage us and help us to perform better – no player or team can do without the support of their fans be successful, and we see I am looking forward to them standing behind us as we enter a new era in Pakistani cricket. “
The three ODIs will be held at the Karachi National Stadium on 27 and 29 September and on 3 October before the teams move to Lahore for 20 internationals on 5 October.