Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Board on Thursday confirmed that Sri Lanka Cricket team will indeed tour Pakistan despite many of their star players boycotting the tour amid fears of terror attack during the tour.
The tour was left hanging in between after Sri Lanka Cricket stated that they had received a warning from Prime Minister’s office. Notably, Sri Lankan players including their T20 International captain Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne opted out of the Pakistan tour.
Former Pakistan batsman Javed Miandad slammed Sri Lankan players stating that Sri Lanka Cricket should, in fact, penalize the players who had refused to tour Pakistan. Now, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has claimed that the Indian Premier League (IPL) was one of the reasons why Sri Lankan players decided to boycott.
“Sri Lankan players are under pressure from IPL franchises. I spoke to Sri Lankan players last time when there was talk of them coming to Pakistan and playing in PSL. They said they wanted to come, but IPL guys say if you go to Pakistan we won’t give you a contract,” the former Pakistan all-rounder stated in a video interview.
“Pakistan’s always supported Sri Lanka, it never happened that we had a tour of Sri Lanka and our players rested. SL’s board should put pressure on their contracted players to go to Pakistan. Sri Lankan players who’ll come will always be remembered in Pakistan’s history,” he added.
Notably, the Sri Lankan team was the target of a terror attack during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009. As many as six Sri Lankan players were injured as gunmen had attacked the team bus. Six policemen and two civilians died.
Sri Lanka are yet to play an international match in Pakistan post the 2009 terror attacks.