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Sri Lankan players unwilling to travel to Pakistan

The last T20I of the tour scheduled to be played on October 29 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

Akila Dananjaya
Sri Lanka. (Photo Source: Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been trying really hard to bring international cricket back to the country. They successfully hosted the Independence Cup and as a result, Sri Lanka and Windies agreed to play Twenty20 Internationals in Lahore on their respective tours against Pakistan.

But now as the date for the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka T20I series draws near 40 Sri Lankan players have approached the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) with a letter expressing their disinterest in travelling to Pakistan for the third and last T20I of the tour that is scheduled to be played on October 29 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

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Among the 40 names are all the players who are picked in the squad that is currently on tour and other cricketers who own an SLC contract. Though there is no direct mention that they are unwilling to play the match in Pakistan but it does ask the board to consider switching the venue.

ICC also met the players

“SLC will have a quick chat to the players very soon. We don’t intend to disturb them in middle of a series, but we are left with no option but to address the issue. The ICC also will meet the players on Saturday to brief them about the situation in Lahore,” an SLC source was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

It is also reported that one player from among the current lot who was a part of the World XI side that played three T20Is in Pakistan all-rounder Thisara Perera has no problems playing in Lahore and thus his name doesn’t feature in the letter.

Keeping possibilities open

The SLC is in a fix as at one end they cannot ignore the basic demand of the players whereas on the other hand they have always had close ties with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and supporting them in this situation is a deed that will never be forgotten.

“We are looking at all possibilities. Pakistan has been one our closest allies and we don’t want to let them down,” the source further added.

The Pakistan vs Sri Lanka T20I series gets underway at Abu Dhabi on October 26.

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