Pakistani minister accuses India after top Lanka players opt out from Pakistan tour


The Science and Technology Minister of Pakistan, Fawad Hussain Chaudhry condemned India’s behaviour, claiming that the Sri Lankan players have been threatened by the BCCI against participating in their upcoming Pakistan series. According to some reports, 10 of the best Sri Lankan players have removed themselves from the tour, and Chaudhry, a minister in Imran Khan’s government took to twitter blaming India for that decision.

“Informed sports commentators told me that India threatened SL players that they will be ousted from IPL if they don’t refuse Pak visit, this is really cheap tactic, jingoism from sports to space is something we must condemn, really cheap on the part of Indian sports authorities,” Chaudhry tweeted.

The Sri Lanka Cricket board however, released a statement which says that the players in the preliminary squad were given a security briefing for the ODI and T20I series, and was also given the freedom to decide if they wanted to travel. After the briefing, ten players “chose to stay away” including T20 captain Lasith Malinga along with Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera. The other seven were, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne.

Sri Lanka’s previous full tour of Pakistan unfortunately came to an end after the Lanka team bus was attacked by terrorists on March 2009. Pakistan were immediately banned by ICC from hosting any tournaments, and this tour is being seen as a way to revive international cricket in Pakistan after a decade.

The series is scheduled to begin on September 27 in Karachi with three ODIs and three T20Is to be played.