SLC should pressurise its contracted players to go to Pakistan, says Shahid Afridi

SLC should pressurise its contracted players to go to Pakistan, says Shahid Afridi

The tour looks set to go ahead but Sri Lanka will come with a depleted team.

Shahid Afridi. (Photo by RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s another week before Sri Lanka are set to meet Pakistan in the first match of their bilateral series – an ODI – at the National Stadium in Karachi. But the continuing uncertainty over the series – first because of the pullout by a number of Lankan players and then a warning issued by Sri Lanka Prime Minister’s office over a possible terror attack during the series – left a lot of sides frustrated.

However, on Thursday, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said it will send the team after having received an all-clear signal from the country’s defence ministry. Top officials like the secretary of the board are also set to join the team. Sri Lankan players had a horrendous experience the last time they went to Pakistan for a full-fledged tour in 2009. They faced a terror attack and had to be airlifted to safety from the cricket pitch at the Lahore stadium.

Pakistan remained sidelined as hosts to international games ever since and barring a few short tours, no team has undertaken a full tour to the country in the last decade. Pakistan played their home series in the UAE and their two-Test series against Sri Lanka will also be played at the same venue in December.

After Ramiz Raja, Afridi speaks out

For the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the success of the upcoming series is important and it is not ready to allow any kind of disruption hence. Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja expressed dissatisfaction after a number of Lankan players pulled out of the series. And now, another former captain Shahid Afridi has spoken in favour of the series.

“Pakistan’s always supported SL, it never happened that we had a tour of SL & our players rested. SL’s board should put pressure on their contracted players to go to Pakistan. SL players who’ll come will always be remembered in Pakistan’s history,” he was quoted as saying by Pak Passion.

The Twitterati, however, refused to agree fully with Afridi saying that the players have every right to take care of their safety. Sri Lanka are set to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in Pakistan between September 27 and October 9.

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