Pakistan Cricket Board has been hopeful of bringing back full-fledged international cricket to the country. Its, been long that any team has traveled to Pakistan for any cricket tour. It had been an isolated destination for international cricket since the 2009 terrorist attack in which gunmen targeted a Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, leaving several cricketers injured.
This is the first time after a long time that any nation has taken a step to visit Pakistan for a full limited-overs series, but several roadblocks are still needed to be cleared. The Islanders are scheduled to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in Pakistan with the series starting on September 27, but as many as 10 top Sri Lankan players have stepped back from playing the series.
The players who have pulled out are T20 skipper Lasith Malinga, former captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, and Niroshan Dickwella which has ruled out the firepower in the Sri Lankan team. Following the pullout of the top players, Sri Lanka had announced a below-par team for the series in Pakistan. The ODI team will be led by Lahiru Thirimanne, while T20 team will be headed by Dasun Shanaka.
After such a step taken by the Sri Lankan players, former cricketers of Pakistan like Shoaib Akhtar and Ramiz Raza slammed the Island cricketers, whereas now the former legendary batsman of Pakistan Javed Miandad has joined his former teammates. He used some strong words for the players who ruled themselves out of the tour and said as per quotes on Times Now, “International matches should be the top priority for the players and SLC should penalize the ones who have opted out of the Pakistan series,”.
Before, the legendary batsman’s statement, Ehsan Mani, chairman of the PCB has ruled out all possibilities of shifting the three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and T20Is from Karachi and Lahore following the Sri Lankan government receiving an alert of a possible terrorist threat to the Sri Lanka team.
Sri Lanka has stated that they will re-assess the security before taking a final call. The ICC is also reportedly set to inspect the security arrangements in Pakistan for the tour before sending the match officials.
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