Ten Sri Lankan players opt out of Pakistan tour

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Sri Lanka's batsman Avishka Fernando raises his bat and helmet to celebrate scoring a century during the Cricket World Cup match between Sri Lanka and the West Indies at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street, England, Monday, July 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

Colombo:  Ten of Sri Lanka’s top players opted out of the Pakistan tour starting September 27, following a security briefing with the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board.

T20I skipper Lasith Malinga, along with former captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella were the ten to opt out.

“Sri Lanka Cricket today held a meeting with players, who were chosen as part of a preliminary squad to select the team, which will be touring Pakistan to play three ODIs and as many T20i matches, starting from September 27 to October 9, 2019.

“The meeting was aimed at informing the players about the security arrangements, during the forthcoming tour and also to find out their ‘decision’ (either taking part or not), before selectors sit for the selection of squads for the ODI and T20i series.

Former Sri Lanka Air Force Commander, Marshal Air Roshan Goonetileke, who is the Chief Security Advisor of the SLC, briefed the players about the security situation in Pakistan and the security arrangements PCB plans on implementing during Sri Lanka team’s tour of that country, whilst Chairman of the National Selection Panel Mr. Ashantha De Mel, explained about the selection policy for future tours.

He said, players will be given the freedom to decide on either taking part or not in the forthcoming Pakistan tour,” a media release on Sri Lanka Cricket’s official website said.

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.

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