Seven more players from Sri Lanka agree to play in Pakistan

Seven more players from Sri Lanka agree to play in Pakistan

Manager Gurusinha expects more players would agree to tour.

Upul Tharanga of Sri Lanka
Upul Tharanga of Sri Lanka. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Out of the 40 contracted players of Sri Lanka, who had requested their cricket board to reconsider their decision about playing the last Twenty20 International in Lahore, seven players have changed their minds and agreed to tour Pakistan. However, the board is yet to get the consent of limited-overs skipper Upul Tharanga, who on Monday made himself unavailable for the game.

Fast bowler Lasith Malinga is also highly unlikely to feature in the one-off T20 International as he made it clear earlier that he reservations about the same. Meetings were taking place between officials and the players on Tuesday evening and authorities were confident that they will be able to send a balanced team, rubbishing talks about sending a ‘depleted side’ for the game.

“As of now, from the 22 players we had in mind, 15 have given consent to go to Lahore. We don’t want to upset their preparation for the third ODI which is on Wednesday. By Thursday, the day after the game, we will have a fair idea who is available. That will give us an opportunity to prune the squad to 15,” a top SLC official quoted on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Kusal Perera, who was tipped to take over the captaincy subsequent to Tharanga’s withdrawal has failed a fitness test in Colombo. Perera, returned home early from Champions Trophy in June with a hamstring injury he sustained against India, is in the last stages of his recovery process.

Manager Gurusinha expects more players would agree to tour

According to reports from Cricbuzz, it will be Thisara Perera who will be leading the side. In fact, he was among the few players who expressed his willingness to visit Lahore for the match. When the World XI played three matches in Lahore, Thisara Perera was part of that squad as well.

SLC sources said that three players who are in the Caribbean with Sri Lanka ‘A’ team – Dasun Shanaka, Shean Jayasuriya and Wanindu Hasaranga too had agreed to be part of the Lahore leg of the current series against Pakistan.

Sri Lanka’s Manager Asanka Gurusinha earlier had expressed his confidence that more players will agree to tour. The support staff had earlier decided to make the trip giving SLC a shot in the arm to go ahead with the tour. SLC’s Executive Committee met on Monday and studied a detailed security report the ICC had prepared after the World XI series and that has, reportedly, convinced them to go ahead with the match in Pakistan.