Just In! Top Ten Players from Sri Lanka have refused to tour Pakistan for the Limited Overs Series. Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Lakmal Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne are the names who have opted against Pakistan tour. Surprisingly, Pakistan Cricket Board sent their U19 team after Easter Bombings in Sri Lanka, in which 17 Blasts occurred. However, Sri Lanka team will visit Pakistan for ODI and T20 Series with Lahiru Thirimanne as ODI captain and Dasun Shanaka as T20 Captain.
Sri Lanka Cricket issued a statement announcing the refusal of top Players touring Pakistan. It reads as:
Sri Lanka Cricket today held a meeting with players, who were chosen as part of a preliminary squad to select the team, which will be touring Pakistan to play 03 ODIs and 03 T20i matches, starting from 27th September to 09th October, 2019.
The meeting was aimed at informing the players about the security arrangements, during the forthcoming tour and also to find out their ‘decision’ (either taking part or not), before selectors sit for the selection of squads for the ODI and T20i series.
Former Sri Lanka Air Force Commander, Marshal Air Roshan Goonetileke, who is the Chief Security Advisor of the SLC, briefed the players about the security situation in Pakistan and the security arrangements PCB plans on implementing during Sri Lanka team’s tour of that country, whilst Chairman of the National Selection Panel Mr. Asantha De Mel, explained about the selection policy for future tours.
He said, players will be given the freedom to decide on either taking part or not in the forthcoming Pakistan tour.
Accordingly, the following players chose to stay away from the upcoming Pakistan series.
- Niroshan Dickwella
- Kusal Janith Perera
- Dhananjaya De Silva
- Thisara Perera
- Akila Dhananjaya
- Lasith Malinga
- Angelo Mathews
- Suranga Lakmal
- Dinesh Chandimal
- Dimuth Karunaratne
Whilst Kusal Mendis, is not available for selection due to an injury he suffered during the New Zealand Series.
Following the meeting with the players, the National Selectors, selected a T20I and ODI squad to tour Pakistan, and the respective squads will be sent to the approval of the Minister of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports Honorable Harin Fernando in due course.
It seems like Sri Lankan Players have not come out the terrorist attack in Lahore back in 2007 in which many Sri Lankan Players were injured. Pakistan have improved the security measurements for the cricketers since than. They hosted a World XI Series, T20 Series against Sri Lanka and West Indies, PSL League Matches and Finals for 2018 and 2019. Whatever the reasons may be, it is certainly not good for Pakistan and Sri Lankan cricket fans who were counting on this tour.