Pakistan to play Sri Lanka ahead of Champions Trophy

      Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka in a practice match on September 18, five days ahead of their Champions Trophy opening match against West Indies. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has arranged two practice matches for the national cricketers ahead of the start of the 2009 Champions Trophy on September 22. Besides playing against Sri Lanka, they are also schedule to play against the Chevrolet Warriors (the combined Eastern Province and Border team) in the second warm-up on September 20. "We were earlier scheduled to play against South Africa on September 20. However, due to SA team's other commitments we will now play against the leading domestic team," The News quoted a PCB official, as saying. He said that the two practice matches would help the team officials to finalise the playing line up for the Champions Trophy starter. Pakistan is to play their first match against West Indies at the Wanderers on September 23. "The two practice matches ahead of the start of the event would be an ideal opportunity for the Greenshirts to adapt to the South African conditions," he said. Australia and India are the other two teams in Pakistan's group. Pakistan has to beat at least two of the three teams to make it into the semifinals. Meanwhile, the first phase of Pakistan cricket team's training camp concluded at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore on Sunday. "On the last day of the camp, psychologist Maqbool Babri had a collective session with the members of the national team. Earlier on Saturday, he had individual sessions with Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf. "The basic aim of holding such session is to make players mentally tough and ready to give their best under demanding conditions. These sessions did help when the team was leaving for the Twenty20 World Cup," said the PCB official.

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