Sri Lankans choose to stay out of Pakistan tour over security concerns

Pakistan Cricket Board's new managing director Wasim Khan with the PCB chairman Ehsan Mani in Lahore

By hosting the limited-overs series first, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had meant to prove to Sri Lanka players and officials that the nation was secure enough to host Test cricket, starting with the teams' World Test Championship matches, presently scheduled for December.

The statement added that the meeting was aimed at informing the players about the security arrangements during the forthcoming tour and also to find out their "decision" (whether they wish to take part or not) before selectors sit for the selection of squads for the ODI and T20i series.

"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". In fact, a former Sri Lankan Air Force Commander had conveyed his confidence in those arrangements to the players.

The team was due to play three ODIs and three T20 matches between 27 September and 19 October.

In 2017, Sri Lankan cricketers played a single T20 match in Lahore despite a number of high profile pull-outs that had forced the authorities to send a weakened team under Thisara Perera for the three-match series.

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Speaking to BBC Sinhala Service, as quoted by Geo News, Sri Lankan Sports Minister Harin Fernando said that the players' families are concerned about their safety.

The other players who refused to tour Pakistan include Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal, and Dimuth Karunaratne.

Since 2009, Pakistan has hosted worldwide matches.

According to the original schedule, Pakistan were scheduled to host Sri Lanka for two World Test Championship matches in October before the visitors return for limited-over fixtures in late December. But this is the first time in 10 years, a top team will be in Pakistan for more than two weeks.

He claimed that India had threatened to remove Sri Lanka's players from the Indian Premier League if they don't refuse to play in Pakistan.

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