Lahiru Thirimanne, Dasun Shanaka to lead Sri Lanka on Pakistan tour

Ruben Hill
September 11, 2019

Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who featured in Sri Lanka A's tour of India in June, was named in the T20I squad. He said that "informed sports commentators" had informed him the Sri Lankan players were confronted by Indian authorities and were told they would be excluded from the IPL if they went to play in Pakistan. Following a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009, a majority of global teams have refused to tour the South Asian country.

The players were given the freedom to decide on their availability after a security briefing with the national cricket board that was aimed at bringing the players up to date about the measures being put in place for the tour in Pakistan.

He rejected Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry's reasoning which was aimed at an IPL influence which prompted leading Sri Lankan players pull out of the upcoming tour. Fernando added that the SLC respected the 10 players' decision to back out and hopes to beat Pakistan with a full-strength team.

The likes of Lasith Malinga, the T20I skipper, Dimuth Karunaratne, the ODI skipper, former captain Angelo Mathews, and seven others won't be a part of the series.

Fernando, who is the Sports Minister of the island country stated that the decision of as many as 10 players opting out of Pakistan tour was "purely" based on the horrifying experience of 2009 when their team was targeted and attacked by terrorist.

Sri Lanka is set to visit Pakistan after almost two years to play three ODIs and three T20I matches from September 27 to October 19. He was clear cut in saying that the reports of India influencing Sri Lanka over the global games are completely baseless.

Since then, worldwide cricket has eluded Pakistan with no high-profile team visiting the country for a full-length tour.

The two cricketers are among the eight players who have refused to tour Pakistan due to security concerns.

Though, the security situation in Pakistan is far from being completely normal even after the 2009 attack.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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