Sri Lanka women's team are set to return to the international arena after a long gap of 18 months with a three-match ODI series in Pakistan, ESPNCricinfo reported on Friday. According to the report, Sri Lanka Cricket is in talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board for a tour of Pakistan ahead of their Women's ODI World Cup global qualifier that starts on November 21 in Zimbabwe.
Last month, the England and Wales Cricket Board pulled out of their women's tour of Pakistan scheduled for October. With regular captain Chamari Athapaththu unavailable for the series as she is in Australia for the WBBL, batter Harshitha Madavi is set to lead Sri Lanka against Pakistan. If the tour is confirmed, the Islanders will fly to Pakistan on October 15 and undergo seven-day mandatory isolation before playing a practice match ahead of the series.
The women's team's last match was the final group game against Bangladesh in the ICC T20 World Cup in March 2020. SLC said that their lack of playing time happened as the board was unable to create multiple bio-bubbles for the different series. SLC chief executive Ashley de Silva said they had been trying to get a home series against Pakistan since the start of the year.
"There was a time that we wanted to get them [Pakistan] down to Sri Lanka, but due to the fact that we were playing so many tournaments, we couldn't create so many bubbles at the same time," he told ESPNCricinfo. "We were also having problem with the resources; we couldn't find the necessary amount of doctors to handle so many bubbles.
"We were going to host them here, but then we had two tours (for the men's side) with the South African team and then the Indian team. On top of that there were bubbles and training for some other teams as well, such as the A team. So we couldn't find the resources to handle so many bubbles.
"But we were on the lookout for a window. Now that the window has opened up, and they invited us, we jumped at the idea."