Wednesday Sep 11, 2019
Sri Lankan minister Harin Fernando has rejected claim by Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry who had accused India of playing a part in the Islanders' decision to withdraw from their upcoming tour in Pakistan, according to The Times of India.
The sports minister clarified the news on Twitter saying that some players’ decision to not partake in the tour was solely due to the 2009 terrorist incident in Lahore.
Top Sri Lankan players including Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella had refused to be part of playing eleven touring Pakistan.
"No truth to reports that India influenced Sri Lankan players not to play in Pakistan. Some decided not to play purely based on 2009 incident. Respecting their decision we picked players who were willing to travel. We have a full strength team and we hope to beat Pakistan in Pakistan," Fernando said.
The decision was met with criticism with the likes of Ramiz Raja whereas, Chaudhry speculated that the they were forced to quit from the tour due to excessive pressure from India, who threatened the players that their IPL contracts would be cancelled.
"Informed sports commentators told me that India threatened SL players that they ll 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 tweeted.
Sri Lanka are scheduled to play three ODI's in Karachi on September 27, 29 and October 3.