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Sri Lanka announce second string squad for Pakistan tour after top stars pull out

Sri Lanka appointed Lahiru Thirimanne and Dasun Shanaka as captains of ODI and T20I squads for the Pakistan tour. Sri Lanka will play 3 ODIs and 3 T20I matches, starting from 27th September to 09th October, 2019.

Lahiru Thirimanne will be leading Sri Lanka's ODI squad for Pakistan tour. (IANS File Photo)

Lahiru Thirimanne will be leading Sri Lanka’s ODI squad for Pakistan tour. (IANS File Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Lahiru Thirimanne will be leading Sri Lanka’s ODI squad for Pakistan tour
  • Dasun Shanaka has been appointed as the captain of Sri Lanka’s T20I team for Pakistan tour
  • Sri Lanka will play 3 ODIs and 3 T20I matches in Pakistan

Sri Lanka cricket board have announced second string ODI and T20I squads for upcoming tour of Pakistan after 10 players pulled out citing security fears.

Lahiru Thirimanne will be leading Sri Lanka’s ODI squad whereas Dasun Shanaka has been appointed as the captain of Sri Lanka’s T20I team for Pakistan tour. Sri Lanka is scheduled to visit Pakistan for a bilateral series, which includes 3 one-day internationals and the same number of Twenty20 internationals between September 27 and October 9.

Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne were the player who opted out of tour while Kusal Mendis was not available for selection due to an injury.

Families of several Sri Lankan players were reportedly uncomfortable with the prospect of the stars playing in Pakistan. However, An official source in the Pakistan Cricket Board had told Press Trust of India that Pakistan would accept whatever team the Sri Lankan board sends.
Pakistan have not hosted a high-profile team for a full length tour ever since the terrorist attack in 2009.

The Sri Lankan team had come down to Lahore for a day to play a lone T20I match in October, 2017 while the ICC World Eleven and West Indies have also played short T20 series in Pakistan in the last two years.

Sri Lanka Minister Harin Fernando had rejected claims made by Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry that India forced the players of the island nation to opt out of their upcoming tour against the Men in Green.

Fernando, who is Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister, said that 10 players have opted out of the tour “purely” based on the 2009 incident when their team bus was attacked by terrorist which left eight people dead and several others injured.

“No truth to reports that India influenced Sri Lankan players not to play in Pakistan. Some decided not to play purely based on 2009 incident. Respecting their decision we picked players who were willing to travel. We have a full strength team & we hope to beat Pakistan in Pakistan,” he tweeted on Tuesday night.

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