Sri Lanka players opt out of Pakistan tour over security concerns
Captain Dimuth Karunaratne and veterans Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews lead the players opting out
By Max Mathews
Last Updated: 09/09/19 7:14pm
Ten Sri Lanka players have chosen not take part in their nation's upcoming tour of Pakistan due to security concerns.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have confirmed ten opted not to attend the tour, including Test and one-day skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, Twenty20 captain Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews.
Sri Lanka are due to play three ODIs and three T20 matches across September and October, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed the tour would go ahead regardless.
As part of the World Test Championship in December, Pakistan hope to host their first Test on home soil since a 2009 attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore which saw six security staff and two civilians killed and six players injured.
The players were briefed on the security situation in the country by SLC's chief security adviser and given the freedom to decide whether to go - only Suranga Lakmal was on that team bus but ten have withdrawn nonetheless.
The other players opting out were Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Suranga Lakmal and Dinesh Chandimal, with Kusal Mendis unavailable due to injury.
The PCB said: "We understand and respect the prerogative of SLC to select the best available players for the upcoming tour.
"As far as we are concerned, the tour is on and we look forward to welcoming the Sri Lanka team in Karachi later this month."
Both associations agreed last month to bring forward the limited-overs leg of the split series and push back the two tests, originally set to take place in October.
Pakistan did not host international cricket for six years following the 2009 attack, with the team playing home matches in the United Arab Emirates, but they have hosted teams including Zimbabwe and West Indies recently.