Waqar Younis resigned as Pakistan coach following ICC World T20 2016    Getty Image
Waqar Younis resigned as Pakistan coach following ICC World T20 2016 Getty Image

With Sri Lanka winning a humdinger in Abu Dhabi against Pakistan, the 2-Test series has got off to a thrilling start. It has set the tone for the limited-overs leg of the tour as well. Sri Lanka, after playing the rest of the matches in UAE, are scheduled to tour Pakistan to play the final T20 International on the tour. Waqar Younis, former Pakistan captain and coach, has now advocated for Sri Lanka to come and play at Lahore.

According to island.lk, Waqar said: My message to Sri Lankan players is that doesn t worry. Come and play in Pakistan and I can vouch, with what we have seen during World XI series, that everything is fine.” He further adds, The last eight years have been really bad for Pakistan cricket. Pakistan has no better friend than Sri Lanka. The shooting happened to the Sri Lankan team and if they can come, it will send a strong message to rest of the world.”

Waqar had famously toured Sri Lanka ahead of the 1996 World Cup after a bomb attack rocked the city. He recalled: I remember that very clearly. The Cricket Board officials came to me and asked whether I could help by going to Sri Lanka. I only asked one question. What time is the flight? I had no hesitation to come down to Sri Lanka. It was a difficult time for Sri Lanka. You have got to help each other in difficult times. I am sure with Sri Lanka helping us it will help us to get cricket back in our country.”

I never had any concerns about touring Sri Lanka. I knew Sri Lanka was a peaceful place. I have toured Sri Lanka many times. It s like a second home for me. People are very nice and lovely place. We always knew that we will not encounter problems,” he claims.

He further went on to narrate his encounters with Arjuna Ranatunga: Arjuna and I are good mates. He is a great character. Even Aravinda [de Silva]. I have admired the two a lot. They have been two wonderful ambassadors of Sri Lankan cricket. Aravinda was superb batsman while Arjuna was a great leader of men. Whenever I am in Colombo, I visit Arjuna s place for a meal.

Finally, Waqar complimented Dinesh Chandimal for his show in the first Test at Abu Dhabi: Chandimal batted really well. It was very tough. When he walked in, they were three down for 60 runs and he had to dig deep. I thought he played like a champion. It looks like he is getting better with time. The kind of series against India would have been tough and playing like that would have given him lot of confidence.