LAHORE  - By hosting the third and last T20 international at the historical Gaddafi Stadium, Pakistan will celebrate the end of eight years of isolation from international cricket.

This was all made possible with the untiring efforts of PCB chairman and PSL head Najam Aziz Sethi, who successfully conduct the Pakistan Super League-2 final which made way for the World XI tour, took place last month in Lahore, and now after eight-year international cricket isolation, Pakistan is ready to host Sri Lanka for the lone T20 international, for which the cricket-crazy nation was eagerly awaiting for.

The Pakistan-Sri Lanka tour started at hosts’ second cricket home United Arab Emirates (UAE) with Test and ODI series fully played there while two of three Twenty20s were held there and the third and final one is going to be hosted at the Gaddafi Stadium.

Pakistan team couldn’t start the tour well and lost the Test series 2-0 but then they bounced back in style and won the ODI series 5-0 with young making their presence felt. In the T20 series too, the youngsters continued to excel and helped Pakistan take unbeatable 2-0 lead. If the players succeed in winning the third T20, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmad’s dream of clinching the trophy at home ground will come true.

Skipper Sarfraz was confident of winning the third and final T20 international at home soil. “I would love to clinch the trophy in front of home crowd as it will help boost the team’s morale and give immense pleasure to us as well as the entire nation. Playing T20 international at Gaddafi Stadium will be ‘a special moment’ in my career as the Sri Lankan side will be visiting Pakistan after a gap of eight years.”

“I hope the team work and collective efforts will certainly help us outclass our opponents in the last Twenty20, which is very significant for the team and to make it a winning combination,” he added.

Showing his delight over return of international cricket to Pakistan, Sarfraz hoped that the West Indies team would be next to tour the country. “PCB chairman Najam Sethi has been striving to bring full-fledged cricket to Pakistan and I hope with his untiring efforts, the international cricket will be played in the country on regular basis.”

Sri Lanka skipper Thisara Perera fully praised the Pakistan and its security saying the security arrangements made during the World XI tour were excellent. “During our six-day stay, we were provided the best security and arrangements made for us really impressed the entire World XI players,” he said.

About captaincy, Perera said: “Captaincy is a big challenge and responsibility but I will do my best to live up to the expectations and try my best to inspire the team to perform to a higher level.”

The third T20 will be the overall 18th Twenty20 international between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The historical Gaddafi Stadium will be hosting the first ever Twenty20 match between both the cricket-playing nations.

In so far 17 T20s played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the green shirts have edge over Lankans as they have won 12 and lost 5. In 2007, Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in South Africa while both the countries played two matches in Canada in 2008 and both one match each. The 2009 was also evenly poised as they played two matches in England, and each side won one match.

From 2009 to 2015, both the teams played six matches at the Sri Lankan soil, with Pakistan winning four and losing two while from 2011 to 2017, both the sides played five T20s in UAE and Pakistan won four and lost one. In 2016, both the teams played one match in Bangladesh with Pakistan emerging as winners. In Twenty20 World Cup, both the teams played four matches with Pakistan striking victory in three games and losing just one.