Sri Lanka will have to field weakened teams during their tour of Pakistan later this month after a host of players, including ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Lasith Malinga, the T20I skipper, made themselves unavailable, Sri Lanka Cricket stated on Monday, 9 September.
Apart from the duo, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, the former captains, and Suranga Lakmal, the senior paceman, also pulled out, along with Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella.
The players announced their unavailability after a meeting with the SLC, in which they were made aware of the “security arrangements PCB plans on implementing” during the tour, which will comprise three ODIs in Karachi and three T20Is in Lahore, starting with the first ODI on 27 September.
🚨JUST IN 🚨— ICC (@ICC) August 23, 2019
Pakistan have announced they will play Sri Lanka in Pakistan in three ODI's and three T20I's!
The ODI's will be played in Karachi and the T20I's in Lahore. pic.twitter.com/ejJdRNM58f
In a statement, the SLC said: “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 Asantha De Mel explained about the selection policy for future tours.”
According to the release, the players were “given the freedom to decide on either taking part or not in the forthcoming Pakistan tour.”
Kusal Mendis will also miss the tour due to injury, sustained after an on-field collision with Shehan Jayasuriya during the second T20I against New Zealand. Sri Lanka will announce their squads in due course.
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