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Shoaib Akhtar disappointed with Sri Lankan players pulling out of Pakistan tour

Sri Lanka is scheduled to play 3 ODIs and as many T20Is between September 27 and October 9.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Pakistan fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar has condemned the Sri Lankan players’ decision to pull out of the upcoming limited-overs tour of Pakistan. Sri Lanka will travel to Pakistan later this month for three T20Is and as many ODIs. But even before the start, the series has lost a considerable amount of star power because of Sri Lankan players’ decision.

As many as ten players have decided against visiting Pakistan due to security reasons. Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne have opted out of the tour.

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According to media reports, families of several Sri Lankan players were uncomfortable with the prospect of the cricketers playing in Pakistan. Thus, Sri Lanka have been compelled to send a depleted squad.

The turn of events have attracted widespread criticism in Pakistan and Shoaib Akhtar has joined the bandwagon too. The former pacer took to Twitter to criticize the decision and also reminded the Sri Lankan players of how Pakistan has ‘always been a huge support for SL cricket’.

“So disappointed with the 10 Sri Lankan players who have pulled out of Pakistan tour. Pakistan has always been a huge support for SL cricket. Recently after deadly Easter Attacks in SL, our under-19 team was sent on tour there, being the first international team to volunteer,” wrote Shoaib Akhtar.

“And of course who can forget the 1996 World Cup when Australia & West Indies refused to tour Sri Lanka. Pakistan sent a combined team with India to play a friendly match in Colombo. We expect reciprocation from Sri Lanka. Their board is cooperating, players should also,” he added in another tweet.

Here are the tweets:

New captains

Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have named new captains for the upcoming tour. Lahiru Thirimanne will be leading the ODI squad whereas Dasun Shanaka will shoulder the responsibility in the T20Is. Sri Lanka will play the ODIs and T20Is in Karachi and Lahore respectively between September 27 and October 9,

Pakistan will be hoping to successfully stage the series as they desperately seek to bring international cricket back to home. They have not hosted a full-fledged series at home since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.

Watch – All-time right-handers ODI XI

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