KARACHI (AFP) - Pakistan start their Test series against Sri Lanka Saturday riding the wave of a feel-good factor after winning the World Twenty20 and giving their country a much-needed respite from bombs and battles. When Pakistan won the championship in England last month, the victory renewed the country's passion for the game, which had plummeted after an attack on the Sri Lankan team in March wiped out hopes of international cricket being played there again. Eight Pakistanis were killed and seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach wounded in the sophisticated gun and grenade assault in Lahore on the third day of the second Test. The tourists were evacuated immediately.There were fears that, with no more international cricket in Pakistan, the sport would die a slow death, but captain Younus Khan hopes the tourists can build on their Twenty20 success when the five-day three-Test series begins. "I hope this series will be very interesting and we play positive cricket to win it," he told AFP from Sri Lanka. "It is very important that the interest generated by the T20 success back home is maintained during the Test series, which is the real form of the game," said Younus. From President Asif Ali Zardari to the man in the street, delirium in Pakistan over the Twenty20 win has lifted the gloom of inflation, power cuts and a war that has made two million people homeless since April."Interest in cricket was waning after the attacks on the Sri Lankan team," said former captain Zaheer Abbas, nicknamed the Asian Bradman during his playing days for his superlative batting. "The situation was gloomy but the Twenty20 success was the much-needed tonic for the people of Pakistan and they are now keenly waiting for the Test series against Sri Lanka," said Abbas. Opener Shahzaib Hasan, a member of Pakistan's Twenty20 team but not selected for the Tests, said that he and the rest of his family will be glued to their television sets."I hope I will get a place in the one-day team after the Tests, but I feel part of the team as I will watch Test matches on television and pray for my team," said Hasan, whose family has found new entertainment in cricket. Even his grandmother Amna Begum will watch action between her prayers. "I watched Twenty20 matches because of my grandson, but now I will watch Tests and pray for the team as all the players are like my kids," she said. Tens of thousands, many wearing green shirts of their beloved team, poured into the streets of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, where they danced and sang moments after Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the Twenty20 final at Lord's.Television channels played special songs and discussions on the team's spectacular win replaces the usual slots for discussing the national budget and the military action against Taliban rebels in the northwest.Fans went berserk when the team returned from London, but were deprived of any glimpse of their heroes - who were whisked away from the airport due to security reasons. Despite the celebrations, Pakistanis are still nervous about the future of their team, which has been turned into an international outcast because foreign teams refuse to tour the country because of security fears.Coach Intikhab Alam said he hoped the Twenty20 win will inject new interest."Our next assignment is in Sri Lanka and I hope that the whole nation will root for our success. I am sure Test matches will also be followed with keen interest and that will further lift our cricket," Alam said recently.