COLOMBO  - Newly appointed Pakistan T20 and ODI captain M Hafeez feels that the series against Sri Lanka will be a close contest.

Speaking at the launch of the two-match T20, five-match ODI and three-match Test series, Hafeez said Sri Lanka would be a formidable side at home. “No one can really predict the outcome. It will be a good tough series,” Hafeez said.

“We have had success against them in the recent times but it will be really tough competition third time.” In the last series played in UAE, Pakistan won the Test series 1-O while the ODI series was won by them with a 4-1 margin. Pakistan won the sole T20 international too.

Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore who was twice Lanka’s coach including when Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1996 said his task would be to win the series and nothing less.

“My goal is to take Pakistan as high as possible in the rankings in all three forms of the game.”

Mahela Jayawardene the home captain said he would focus in trying out new combination of players with the T20 World Cup coming up in Sri Lanka mid September in mind. “We have only four T20 games, 2 against Pakistan and 2 against India before the world cup. So we need to try different combinations.”

The Sri Lanka-Pakistan series gets underway at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in the southern port district of Hambantota on June 1.