Wednesday Sep 11, 2019
TV pundit Ramiz Raja criticised Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) as well as the ten players who had announced their withdrawal from the upcoming limited-over series in Pakistan, over security concerns.
The former captain shared his views in a YouTube video where he labeled the Sri Lankan players using the proverb ‘pot calling the kettle black’ and further elaborated the situation as ‘mind boggling’.
“The threat level regarding the security in Pakistan is similar to what it is in Sri Lanka or for that matter in New Zealand,” said Raja.
“It boggles my mind as to why Thisara Perera, who has been to Pakistan recently with the World XI side and have experienced the full-proof security provided to the players, would refuse to tour.”
“However I understand that every individual will see the threat from different perspective, especially those who were part of the side when the 2009 Lahore attacks happened and don’t want to put themselves in a similar situation,” he said.
Raja then continued to question the board’s lack of communication throughout the situation and expressed that there needed to be more transparency between the players and the board.
“The communication gap between Sri Lanka Cricket and their players was pretty evident,” Raja said.
“SLC approved the tour after reviewing Pakistan’s security plan, without realising that their players could put them in an embarrassing situation. They should have addressed their player’s concerns first and then announced the tour.”
The former captain reminded the Islanders that Pakistan was present during their times of difficulty and that they should be seeking to play for their country rather than seeking franchise contracts. Added to this, he urged Pakistani fans to watch the series and provide their support.
“Pakistan have always helped Sri Lanka in difficult times, whether it be during the 1996 World Cup or recently when PCB sent their Under-19 team after Colombo bomb blasts,” he said. “It is important for countries in the Asian Bloc to support each other as our cricket fraternity is quite small.”
“It was disappointing to see some players trying to obtain NOCs for foreign leagues, which puts their intentions in doubt regarding whether they are interested in representing their nation or earning more money for less work,” he added.
The 57-year-old's frustration did not end there, he also took to Twitter to express his pent up disappointment.