Senior Sri Lankan cricketers apprehensive about travelling to Pakistan for limited-overs series

It was informed by Harin Fernando, the Sri Lankan Sports Minister.

Lasith Malinga Sri Lanka
Lasith Malinga. (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

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Back in August, it was learned that the Sri Lankan cricket team was set to tour Pakistan for a limited-overs series. SLC received a positive feedback from the security delegation after which the decision was taken. The itinerary consists of three ODIs at the Karachi National Stadium on September 27, 29 and October 2, and as many T20Is at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on October 5, 7 and 9.

Now, it has been learned that some senior players of the national team, including the likes of Dimuth Karunaratne, Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews, aren’t willing to travel to Pakistan. The same is due to the security concerns and their families are apprehensive about visiting to Pakistan.

Formal meeting with Sri Lanka players on September 9

It was informed by Harin Fernando, the Sri Lankan Sports Minister. He added that the Sri Lankan cricket authorities will meet the players to assure them and get them to travel to Pakistan. A former meeting surrounding the same is expected to take place on Monday, September 9.

“I have been told by some of the players that they cannot participate after their families raised concerns. I have even told the players that I am ready to travel with them to Pakistan,” Fernando was quoted as saying in an interview with BCC Sinhala Service.

It was back in 2009 when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked and it sent shockwaves around the cricketing fraternity. After the shambolic occurring, cricket in Pakistan went into the doldrums. In 2015, Zimbabwe toured Pakistan after six years, international cricket took place in the nation.

Thereafter, a World XI side played a T20I series against Pakistan. In 2017, Sri Lanka also played a one-off T20I in Lahore, but a number of their big guns didn’t participate, and understandably so. In April 2018, the West Indies went to the war-stricken nation for the T20 International series.

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has also been a witness to some issues, regarding players not willing to play in Pakistan. The first season was entirely played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but the tournament authorities are gradually trying to bring the event back to Pakistan.

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