The final T20 match to be played in Lahore may be a dead rubber, but it holds great significance for both Pakistan and Sri Lanka – and arguably the wider world too.

In the march of March 2009, gunmen with rifles, grenades and rocket launchers attack Sri Lanka`s team in Lahore on its way to play the third day of the second test. Seven players, an umpire and an assistant coach are wounded, and six policemen and a driver are killed. Today that same team will return to the same stadium to play a match of cricket, and bring the tragic circle that started in 2009 to a close.

The Sri Lankan cricket board and the players, coaches and the support staff must be thanked for their bravery and determination; terrorism can only be combated by possessing these virtues. After all Sri Lanka already knows a thing or two about combating terrorism and having domestic conflicts threaten cricket. From 1983 until 2009, the insurgency of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – know commonly as the Tamil Tigers - came in direct conflict with the sport, with attacks taking place outside airports and hotels where foreign teams were staying. While many tours were cancelled and cut short, a few intrepid teams – such as New Zealand after the July 2001 attack – continued to brave the dangers and play cricket.

It is the laudable efforts of teams back then that restored normal cricket to Sri Lanka, and now it is Sri Lanka who is doing the same for Pakistan.

For Pakistani cricket – and for the Pakistani counter-terrorism – these continued matches in Lahore are a boon. The rise of the young stars that are leading the team with red-hot form can be attributed to the domestic Pakistan Super League and the revenues it bought, while every single successful match instills greater confidence into our security regime’s ability to handle high-profile events.