Sunday, 22 September, 2019

India threatened Sri Lankan players to opt out of Pakistan tour

PCB worried over unavailability of senior Sri Lanka players for home series Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews Among Sri Lankan Players To Opt Out Of Pakistan Tour Over Security Fears
Shannon Reynolds | 10 September, 2019, 12:48

The Sri Lankans returned to Pakistan for a Twenty20 worldwide in Lahore in October 2017 when Perera led the team.

The families of the three players are said to be uncomfortable with the prospect of them playing in Pakistan which is understandable since it was in March, 2009 that terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, leading to Pakistan's isolation as as an worldwide cricket destination.

During the meeting, the players were informed about the security situation in Pakistan and the measures the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) plans to take for the safety and security of the players during the tour.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday said the scheduled home series against Sri Lanka will go ahead despite top players from the island nation pulling out of the tour.

The Sri Lankan cricket board had given the freedom to its players to choose if they want to travel to Pakistan.

After the limited over series, Sri Lanka will play two Test matches against Pakistan, but the dates and the venue are yet to be announced.

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Furthermore, Kusal Mendis is already not available for selection due to an injury he suffered during the New Zealand Series.

Both associations agreed last month to bring forward the limited-overs leg of the split series and push back the two tests, originally set to take place in October.

Most of the worldwide teams have refused to tour Pakistan since a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009. The two sides will then head into Lahore, which will host three T20Is on October 5, 7 and 9.

The refusal is a blow to Pakistan's hopes of once again hosting test cricket, with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hoping to prove that the country was secure enough to return to the test itinerary.

Pakistan did not host global cricket for six years following the 2009 attack, with the team playing their home matches in the United Arab Emirates, but have hosted teams such as Zimbabwe and West Indies in recent years.

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