As many as 10 Sri Lanka cricketers pulled out of their country’s upcoming tour of Pakistan citing security reasons. The players who decided not to travel to Pakistan include T20I captain Lasith Malinga and ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne. The Lankan national team was at the receiving end during a full-fledged series in Pakistan in March 2009 when their bus was attacked by terrorists. The situation was so grave that the players had to be airlifted from the middle of the stadium to safety.
Pakistan remained sidelined as a host to international games since then barring a few short series in limited-overs. They also lost the hosting rights of the 2011 World Cup which was held in the sub-continent. Sri Lanka are set to play three ODIs and three T20Is in Karachi and Lahore during their series between September 27 and October 9. The two countries are also scheduled to play in two Tests in the UAE, Pakistan’s home ground, in December.
The Pakistani side expressed worry and disappointment with the Sri Lankan players’ decision. While the Pakistan Cricket Board agreed that it is the island-nation’s internal matter and said it will welcome whatever team the visitors come up with, former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja was not happy with the turn of events.
In a tweet, the 57-year-old expressed his disappointment saying he didn’t know what to expect from the Lankan players’ decisions of pulling out of the tour. And he was also amazed that a couple of the Lankan players who have refused to travel to Pakistan are going to play in a franchise-cricket tournament.
Don’t know what to read into 10 Sri Lankan players pulling out of Pak tour. Disappointing! And couple of them then opting instead to play franchise cricket. Wow!
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) September 10, 2019
Besides Malinga and Karunaratne, the eight other Sri Lankan players who have decided against going to Pakistan are Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Kushal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dhananjaya, Dinesh Chandimal and Suranga Lakmal.
This will be Sri Lanka’s second tour of Pakistan since the 2009 terror attacks. In 2017, Thisara Perera had led the Lankans to play one T20I in Lahore though he has decided against going there this time.
Thisara, Dickwella denied NoC to play in CPL
Thisara and Dickwella had plans to play in the Caribbean Premier League by skipping the Pakistan series but their board has disagreed to issue them no-objection certificates to participate in the franchise league.
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