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Fawad claims India ‘threatened’ Sri Lankan players to pull out of Pakistan tour

Federal Minister believes that this move was really cheap on the part of Indian sports authorities

PHOTO: File

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has claimed that India threatened Sri Lanka players, over not being able to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL), if they toured Pakistan for the upcoming T20I and ODI series.

According to details, ‘informed sports commentators’ told Chaudhry about the reason which led to top Sri Lankan cricketers deciding against touring Pakistan later this month.  

“Informed sports commentators told me that India threatened SL players that they’ll be ousted from IPL if they don’t refuse Pakistan visit,” said Chaudhry in a Tweet on his official Twitter account.

“This is really cheap tactic, jingoism from sports to space is something we must condemn, really cheap on the part of Indian sports authorities,” the minister added.

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

— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) September 10, 2019

Earlier, ten Sri Lankan players, including T20 skipper Lasith Malinga and ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne, pulled out of an upcoming tour of Pakistan citing security concerns.

Following a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009, a majority of international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country.

The Sri Lankan cricket board said national players were briefed on security arrangements for the six-match limited over series, and given the freedom to decide if they wanted to travel.

Following the briefing, 10 players "chose to stay away" from the series of three One-Day Internationals and three T20 games, scheduled to begin on September 27 in Karachi, the governing body said.

The other eight who opted out were Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal and Dinesh Chandimal.

Official sources said Karunaratne was most likely to be replaced by 30-year-old Lahiru Thirimanne as ODI skipper, while the T20 team is expected to be guided by Dasun Shanaka who celebrated his 28th birthday on Monday.

The tour has been seen as another step towards reviving international cricket in Pakistan after years of isolation.

READ MORE: Ten Sri Lankan cricketers decide against touring Pakistan

This will be Sri Lanka's second tour of Pakistan since the 2009 attack.

The Sri Lankans returned to Pakistan for a Twenty20 international in Lahore in October 2017 with a squad led by Thisara Perera who has decided to stay out of the tour this time.

Sri Lanka are also to play two Test matches against Pakistan, but the dates and the venue are yet to be announced.

Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Harin Fernando has rejected playing the longer versions of the game in Pakistan and suggested the Tests be played in the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistan have played many of their home series.