Former Pakistan batsman Ramiz Raja slammed Sri Lankan cricketers after as many as ten players decided to opt-out of the upcoming tour to Pakistan. Sri Lanka are scheduled to play three T20Is, and as many ODIs on their first tour to the country since 2009.
Taking to Twitter, Ramiz wrote, "Don’t know what to read into 10 Sri Lankan players pulling out of Pak tour. Disappointing! And couple of them then opting instead to play franchise cricket. Wow!"
Thisara Perera and Niroshan Dickwella had commitments with their respective franchise teams in the Caribbean Premier League, but Sri Lankan cricket board has reportedly denied them the permission.
Don’t know what to read into 10 Sri Lankan players pulling out of Pak tour. Disappointing! And couple of them then opting instead to play franchise cricket. Wow!— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) September 10, 2019
Sri Lanka Cricket issued a statement confirming the decision of the cricketers.
"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 03 ODIs and 03 T20i matches, starting from 27th September to 09th October, 2019.
"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. Asantha 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. Accordingly, the following players chose to stay away from the upcoming Pakistan series - Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne.”
Earlier this week, Sri Lankan cricket board also revealed that it has been warned about a possible terrorist threat during its planned tour of Pakistan and called for a reassessment of the security situation before play starts in two weeks.
The SLC said in a statement Wednesday that the Sri Lankan Prime Minister's Office "has received reliable information of a possible terrorist threat on the Sri Lankan team, while touring Pakistan. Hence, SLC has been advised to take extreme care, and 'reassess' the situation, before embarking on the said tour."