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Wednesday Sep 11 2019
Web Desk

No Indian influence behind Sri Lankan players' decision on Pakistan tour: minister

Web Desk
Sports Minister Harin Fernando said there was no truth to reports of Sri Lankan players being influenced. Photo: Reuters

Sri Lankan Sports Minister Harin Fernando has rejected claims made by Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry claiming India had threatened the Lankan players to pull out of their tour to Pakistan later this month.

In a post on Twitter, Hernando said, “No truth to reports that India influenced Sri Lankan players not to play in Pakistan. Some decided not to play purely based on 2009 incident. Respecting their decision we picked players who were willing to travel. We have a full strength team and we hope to beat Pakistan in Pakistan.”

Fernando’s tweets follow Chaudhry’s claims where claimed India threatened Sri Lanka players over not being able to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) if they travelled to Pakistan.

Chaudhry had tweeted, “Informed sports commentators told me that India threatened SL players that they’ll be ousted from IPL if they don’t refuse Pakistan 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.” 

10 Sri Lankan players, including T20 skipper Lasith Malinga and former captains Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera, pulled out of the upcoming tour of Pakistan citing security concerns.

The Sri Lanka Cricket board said players in a preliminary squad were briefed on security arrangements for the six-match limited over series starting September 27 and given the freedom to decide if they wanted to travel.

Following the briefing, ten players "chose to stay away" from the series of three one-day Internationals (ODIs) and three T20 games.

The other seven who opted out were Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal, and Dimuth Karunaratne.

The Pakistan-Sri Lanka series starts September 27 and is scheduled to conclude on October 9, 2019.