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So disappointed with Sri Lankan players who pulled out of Pakistan tour: Shoaib Akhtar

The pull out by 10 Sri Lankan players out of their country’s upcoming tour of Pakistan for 3 ODIs and 3 T20I matches has polarised opinions across the cricket world. While former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja slammed the Sri Lankan cricketers who have chosen to pull out, former speedster Shoaib Akhtar has joined his senior in condemning the move.

Taking to Twitter, Akhtar expressed his disappointment at the pull-out and tried to remind them of how Pakistan has ‘always been a huge support for SL cricket’.

“So disappointed with the 10 Sri Lankan players who have pulled out of Pakistan tour. Pakistan has always been a huge support for SL cricket. Recently after deadly Easter Attacks in SL, our under-19 team was sent on tour there, being the first international team to volunteer. And of course who can forget the 1996 World Cup when Australia & West Indies refused to tour Sri Lanka. Pakistan sent a combined team with India to play a friendly match in Colombo. We expect reciprocation from Sri Lanka. Their board is cooperating, players should also”: Akhtar wrote in a series of tweets.

Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne have 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.

As a result, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have announced 2nd-string ODI and T20I squads for the 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.

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.

Source: indiatoday.in

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