Monday, 13 July, 2020

India threatened Sri Lankan players to opt out of Pakistan tour

Cary Erickson | 10 September, 2019, 15:46

Following a meeting organized by Sri Lanka Cricket with players of the national team on Monday, ten players have made a decision to opt out of the team's tour of Pakistan which is supposed to see three ODIs and three T20Is played from September 27 to October 9, 2019.

Besides Karunarantne, Malinga and Mathews, the other players who have opted out of the Pakistan tour for limited-over fixtures are Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Suranga Lakmal and Dinesh Chandimal.

Sri Lanka are due to play three ODIs and three T20 matches across September and October, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed the tour would go ahead regardless.

"If this tour is successful, then just think on what grounds would the Sri Lankan board or even the Bangladesh cricket board not agree to play the ICC World Test Championship matches in Pakistan".

"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", a statement by Sri Lankan cricket authorities read. And, if that is the case, Sri Lanka Cricket is nearly certain to refuse to play those Tests in Pakistan.

"Isuru Udana too was selected for the CPLT-20, but has remained in Sri Lanka and is willing to travel to Pakistan", the source added.

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Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Harin Fernando has also rejected playing the longer versions of the game in Pakistan and suggested the Tests be played in the UAE.

He said, players will be given the freedom to decide on either taking part or not in the forthcoming Pakistan tour.

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

Fawad Chaudhry, Federal Minister for Science and Technology of Pakistan, claimed on Tuesday that India has threatened Sri Lanka over participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) if these players toured to Pakistan which is scheduled later in September.

In past as well, many foreign players have refused to travel Pakistan on occasions.