Published: Tue, September 10, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Sri Lankan players invited to let their availability known for Pakistan tour

Sri Lankan players invited to let their availability known for Pakistan tour

The Sri Lankan cricket board on Monday announced the selection of a T20 and One Day International (ODI) squad to tour Pakistan as 10 players excused themselves from playing in the country citing security reasons.

The development means that Sri Lanka would have to field a team that will largely see new faces in the national set-up.

Though the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made no official comment on the senior Sri Lanka players' availability, sources in the board said they are in touch with the Sri Lankan board officials and Sports Minister Harin Fernando.

A Pakistan Minister on Tuesday made an outrageous claim after 10 Sri Lankan players chose to opt-out of an upcoming Pakistan tour.

"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.

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. Among the arguments this current group of players mounted their refusal on, is that some other team should be the first to resume Tests in Pakistan, rather than another Sri Lanka side.

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T20I skipper Lasith Malinga, along with former captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella were the ten to opt out.

The release also added that Kusal Mendis isn't available for selection due to an injury that he suffered during the T20I series against New Zealand. In fact, a former Sri Lankan Air Force Commander had conveyed his confidence in those arrangements to the players.

Incidentally, Thisara led the last Lankan team, which toured Pakistan in October, 2017.

Since 2009, Pakistan has hosted global matches.

Pakistan have not hosted a Test on home soil since gunmen attacked Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore in 2009.

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