By jamil bhatti
The Pakistani national cricket team has started preparations in the 10-day training session under Australian coach Dav Whatmore for their upcoming tour to Sri Lanka starting at the end of this month.
The camp started on Wednesday afternoon at the National Cricket Academy in country's eastern city of Lahore in which all players selected for the tour have been participating for trainings, lectures and warm-up matches.
The Pakistani team will leave for their six-week tour to Sri Lanka on May 29 and will start their tour right after a couple days on June 1 when both teams will play a Twenty20 International match in Hambantota on June 1.
During this 10-day training camp, Pakistani players will attend a series of training and nets sessions from May 16-19 before playing two 50-over day-night practice matches on May 20 and 22 followed by back-to-back two Twenty20 matches on May 24 and 25.
On the very first day of the training, Pakistan team had to face an unpleasant news when doctors ruled out team' s left-hand promising opener Nasir Jamshed from the team for more than six weeks because he got his finger broken during a practice match.
Pakistan cricket team' s foreign coach Whatmore, addressing a press conference, said that Pakistan team is capable of defeating Sri Lanka at their home despite hosts' home ground and crowd advantages.
"Definitely the hosts will be having their own advantages but my team is fully prepared to take on Lankan challenge in a decent way by exhibiting professionalism" , said Whatmore, who also coached Sri Lankan team to win their World Cup glory in 1996.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), for the first time, has selected different teams for the three separate game formats while including six uncapped players. All-rounder Muhammad Hafeez will guide Pakistan' s T20 team in two matches while One-day international and Test squads will be led by the skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.
Pakistan cricket team is scheduled to depart for Sri Lanka on May 29 to play 10 matches including two T20 matches, Five One-day International matches and three five-day Test games.
Pakistan, the number fifth Test team in the world ranking, last visited Sri Lanka in 2009 when it lost the Test match series by 2-0. But this time Pakistani team is going with an upper hand as it had beaten the Sri Lanka in the last three-match Test series by 1-0 in United Arab Emirates (the neutral venue) in October 2011. Since 1982, both teams have played 40 Test matches out of which Pakistan won 16 and lost nine while 15 went drawn.