Ten of the top Sri Lankan players have pulled out of the Pakistan tour citing security reasons. They were attacked in 2009, and since then only Zimbabwe and World XI have toured Pakistan in the last decade.
This has not sit well with Pakistan, who is trying to bring cricket back in their country and aiming to play Test matches in front of the home crowd. It has infuriated former Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar, and he lashed out at the Sri Lankan cricketers for pulling out.
"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," Akhtar tweeted.
While Kusal Mendis was unavailable for selection due to injury, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, and Dinesh Chandimal aren't ready to travel.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan are scheduled to play three ODIs and T20Is each between September 27 and October 9.