Former Pakistan captain-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja has on Tuesday, 10th September, lashed out at Sri Lankan players after they pulled out of country’s limited-overs’ tour of Pakistan later this month.
Citing security reasons, T20 skipper Lasith Malinga, ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne and former captains Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera are among 10 players who have refused to travel to Pakistan for 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is to be held in Karachi and Lahore from September 25.
Since March 2009 when Sri Lankan bus was attacked by terrorists in Lahore, leaving several cricketers injured, Pakistan has not hosted international matches in the country.
While the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said they will welcome whatever team Sri Lanka come up with, Raja was disappointed with the turn of events while expressing his amazement that a couple of the players are opted to play in a franchise tournament instead of Pakistan series.
Taking to Twitter, Raja expressed his views: “Don't know what to read into 10 Sri Lankan players pulling out of Pak tour. Disappointing! And a couple of them then opting instead to play franchise cricket. Wow!”
However, the Sri Lankan cricket board denied issuing no-objection certificates to Thisara and Dickwella to play in the Caribbean Premier League in West Indies.
Noteworthy, besides Malinga and Karunaratne, Mathews and Perera, the 6 other Lankan players are – Niroshan Dickwella, Kushal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dhananjaya, Dinesh Chandimal, and Suranga Lakmal – who have boycotted of the Pakistan tour due to security concerns.