After some top Sri Lanka cricketers opted out of their upcoming tour of Pakistan, former skipper Javed Miandad has advised the team to not focus on the touring party and urged them to put on their best show.
The Islanders are scheduled to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in Pakistan with the first 50-over game on Sep 27. However, due to security issues, top Lanka players namely T20 skipper Lasith Malinga, former captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella have decided not to visit Pakistan.
"It does not matter which Sri Lankan players visit and Pakistan must only look to put up their best performances regardless of the visitors' squad quality," Miandad was quoted as saying by Pakistan daily 'Dawn'.
Meanwhile, the former Pakistan skipper felt that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) should take action against the players who have given importance to foreign T20 leagues over international duty. "International matches should be the top priority for the players and SLC should penalise the ones who have opted out of the Pakistan series," the 62-year-old opined.
Miandad said the limited-over series will help Pakistan make a good start to their international cricket calendar which also includes series against Australia and Bangladesh and believed hosting the Islanders will boost the players' confidence.
Reportedly, the International Cricket Council (ICC) will also review the security arrangements put in place in Pakistan before appointing the match officials for the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka.
According to a Pakistan Urdu daily 'Daily Jang', the ICC will analyse the security plans to be put in place by the Pakistan government before appointing neutral umpires and match referees.
The last time an international series was played in Pakistan in 2015, against Zimbabwe, the ICC did not appoint any neutral match official and it had tasked both the countries to oversee cricketing matters.