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Players should be allowed to make up their mind: Kumar Sangakkara

The final T20I will be played on October 29 in Lahore.

Kumar Sangakkara SL
Sri Lankan cricket selection panel member and former cricketer Kumara Sangakkara. (Photo by ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

The former Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara believes travelling Pakistan is the decision of an individual and no one should be forced to do so. Forty contracted players of the country had requested the board to change the venue of the third and final of T20I of the series. But the board, instead, is trying to convince the players to travel and have agreed to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to tour their country on October 29.

The experienced players like Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga have already pulled themselves out of the series and only seven players have so far agreed. The players are still reluctant and according to reports, the horrific incident in 2009 is still on their minds. PCB and SLC are trying their best to convince players and the squad for the T20I series is expected to be announced on Saturday.

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Sangakkara’s advice to SLC

In an interview to Sportstar, Kumar Sangakkara believed that the players should be allowed to make up their mind for the game and should not be forced to do so. “It is a decision of the individual players in the Sri Lankan side. There has to be an open dialogue between the PCB, the Sri Lankan Cricket Board, the ICC and of course the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA). They should come together and there should be transparency in all the information provided to the respective teams, the respective officials and of course to the families of the teams, so that the players can make up their own mind,” he said.

“Once they have spoken to the ICC representative, and the representatives of all the organisations (the SLC, the PCB and FICA), the players can have a clear idea about the security arrangement and the ground reality. They can make up their mind on whether to tour or not,” the legendary cricketer continued. The 39-year-old was happy about the revival of international cricket in Pakistan but also felt that the players should be provided with the relevant information about the security arrangements.

“Of course, bringing back international cricket to Pakistan is a wonderful initiative. The World XI playing there is a great thing. The fans have been deprived of home cricket and the players have been deprived of playing in front of the home crowd, in their home ground. At the same time, the Sri Lankan players need to have all the relevant information given to them by the ICC and the home board,” Sangakkara concluded.

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