More than a decade after international cricket was banned in the country due to the ghastly terror attack in Lahore, Pakistan is set to host its first Test since March 2009 with Sri Lanka confirming their two-Test tour starting December 11. The two Tests will be held in Rawalpindi from December 11 to 15 and Karachi between December 19 and 23.

Sri Lanka, in September-October, toured Pakistan for three ODIs and three T20Is. With 10 players citing security concerns, Lahiru Thirimanne led a near second-string side which blanked Pakistan 3-0 in the T20Is. The last time Pakistan played a Test at home was incidentally against Sri Lanka and was in fact the same game in which the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked.

“This is a fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world. We are thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game,” PCB Director (International Cricket) Zakir Khan said in a statement.

“Now that the itinerary has been confirmed, we will shift our focus on series preparations to ensure we deliver arrangements as per our very high standards. This series is part of our cricket celebrations and we will leave no stone unturned in putting up a show which is a memorable one for the players, officials, fans and media.

The original plan for Sri Lanka was to come play Tests in Pakistan first and return later for the limited-overs leg in December. However, the formats were swapped to provide Sri Lanka assurance of the existing safety precautions in Pakistan. Following the conclusion of the limited-overs leg, some Sri Lanka’s players said they were satisfied with what the PCB had done to ensure their safety.

“We are pleased to confirm our return visit to Pakistan as, based on our earlier visit, we are comfortable and convinced conditions are suitable and conducive for Test cricket,” SLC chief executive Ashley de Silva said.

“We also believe all cricket playing countries should host international cricket at home and in this relation we are happy to play our part in complete resumption of international cricket in Pakistan, which not only has a proud history but has been one of our biggest supporters in our early days as a cricket nation.”