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‘No truth’: Sri Lanka rejects Pakistan minister’s claims of India’s role in SL cricketers pulling out of upcoming tour

Sri Lanka’s sports minister Harin Fernando has quashed Pakistan minister’s claim that India had a role in influencing Sri Lanka cricketer from pulling out of the Pakistan tour

cricket Updated: Sep 11, 2019 13:25 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
New Delhi
Sri Lanka T20 captain Lasith Malinga is among the 10 top cricketers to have pulled out from the Pakistan tour
Sri Lanka T20 captain Lasith Malinga is among the 10 top cricketers to have pulled out from the Pakistan tour(AP)
         

Sri Lanka Minister Harin Fernando has rejected claims made by Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry that India forced the players of the island nation to opt out of their upcoming tour against the Men in Green.

Fernando, who is Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister, said that 10 players have opted out of the tour “purely” based on the 2009 incident when their team bus was attacked by terrorist which left eight people dead and several others injured.

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“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,” he tweeted on Tuesday night.

 

Sri Lanka never toured Pakistan following the attack. This was set to be its first since.

Sri Lanka’s top players, including T20I skipper Lasith Malinga, and former captains Angelo Mathews besides Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella, have opted out of the tour starting September 27 to Pakistan, following a security briefing with the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board.

After this, Chaudhry, who is Pakistan’s Science and Technology Minister, said India threatened the players from Sri Lanka that if they travel to Pakistan, they would lose their IPL contracts.

“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 on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka are slated to play three ODIs in Karachi on September 27, 29 and October 3, and as many T20Is in Lahore on October 5, 7 and 9 during the tour, before returning in December for the Test series that will be a part of the World Test Championship.

First Published: Sep 11, 2019 13:20 IST