A day after Pakistan minister Fawad Chaudhry claimed that India had threatened Sri Lanka players over participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) if they went to tour Pakistan, Sri Lanka minister Harin Fernando has rejected all such claims and stated that the decision to boycott the tour was based on their previous experience in the country.

Fernando, who is the Sports Minister of the island country stated that the decision of as many as 10 players opting out of Pakistan tour was “purely” based on the horrifying experience of 2009 when their team was targeted and attacked by terrorist. The attack had left eight people dead and several others injured and traumatised.

“No truth to reports that India influenced Sri Lankan players not to play in Pakistan. Some decided not to play purely based on the 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,” the Sri Lankan minister tweeted on Tuesday night.

Sri Lanka have not toured Pakistan since that incident in 2009 and the tour scheduled later in September is set to be their first tour ever since.

Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella have all opted out of the tour scheduled to begin from 27 September after the players were briefed about the security arrangements being made for the tour by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board.

Post the decision of the players to opt-out of the tour, Chaudhry, who is Pakistan’s Science and Technology Minister, stated that it was India who was responsible for Sri Lanka players opting out of the tour.

“Informed sports commentators told me that India threatened SL players that they will be ousted from IPL if they don’t refuse Pak visit, this is really cheap tactic, jingoism from sports to space is something we must condemn, really cheap on the part of Indian sports authorities,” Chaudhry had tweeted on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka will play a three-match ODI series and three-match T20I Series during the tour and would then return to Pakistan in December for the Test series which would be part of the ICC World Test Championship.