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Sri Lanka to rethink Pak tour after terror threat alert

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By IANS Updated: Sep 13, 2019 12:42 am
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Colombo, Sep. 12 (IANS): Hours after naming second string squads for their proposed tour of Pakistan, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement that they need to “reassess” their plan after receiving a warning from the Prime Minister’s Office about a possible terror threat to the team.
“Sri Lanka Cricket today sought the assistance of the Sri Lankan government to conduct a ‘reassessment’ of the security situation in Pakistan ahead of the national team’s planned tour to Pakistan. The decision was taken following a warning the SLC received from the Prime Minister’s Office, sent via the Ministry of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports.

“The warning highlights that the PMO has received reliable information of a possible terrorist threat to the Sri Lankan team. Hence, SLC has been advised to take extreme care, and ‘reassess’ the situation, before embarking on the said tour,” a statement on SLC’s official website said.

Two days prior to the announcement, regular captains Dimuth Karunaratne and Lasith Malinga wrote to Sri Lanka Cricket about their unwillingness to tour the country. Eight other first team players have expressed similar views.
Sri Lanka are scheduled to play three ODIS and as many T20Is in Karachi and Lahore between September 27 and October 9.

Shoaib Akhtar disappointed

Former pacer Shoaib Akhtar has expressed disappointment after 10 Sri Lankan players have decided to pull out of their country’s upcoming tour of Pakistan for the three ODIs and as many T20I matches.

Expressing his disappointment, Akhtar reminded the islanders as how Pakistan has “always been a huge support for SL cricket”.

“So disappointed with the 10 Sri Lankan players who have pulled out of Pakistan tour. Pakistan has always been a huge support for SL cricket. Recently after (the) deadly Easter Attacks in SL, our under-19 team was sent on tour there, being the first international team to volunteer,” Akhtar tweeted.

“And of course who can forget the 1996 World Cup when Australia & West Indies refused to tour Sri Lanka. Pakistan sent a combined team with India to play a friendly match in Colombo. We expect reciprocation from Sri Lanka. Their board is cooperating, players should also,” he added.

Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne have opted out of the tour as their families were reportedly uncomfortable with the tour.

After this, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have announced Lahiru Thirimanne as the skipper of the Sri Lanka’s ODI squad while Dasun Shanaka will lead the team in the T20I games during the tour.

International cricket was put on hold in Pakistan after a touring Sri Lankan team in March 2009 was attacked by gunmen on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on the third morning of the second of the two Tests series.

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By IANS Updated: Sep 13, 2019 12:42:49 am