Ten Sri Lankan players, including Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews have refused to visit Pakistan for the upcoming tour citing security concerns. Sri Lanka is to play three ODIs and three T20 International matches as part of its Pakistan tour from September 27 to October 19.
Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne have opted out of the series.
In a meeting convened by the Sri Lankan cricket board, players were updated about security arrangements and were asked to decide if they wanted to participate in the tour or not. At this, the 10 aforementioned players decided against going to Pakistan.
The players’ reluctance to play in Pakistan is being attributed to apprehensions caused by the 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.
This is not a first. Major international teams have refused to play in Pakistan. In 2009, the Sri Lankan team was on the way to Gaddafi stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, where Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) opened fire on their bus. Eight people were killed in the attack and seven were injured, including Sri Lankan players and staff.