Raja slams SLC, players over tour pullout

The former cricketer described the decision as ‘Pot calling the kettle black’

Raja slams SLC, players over tour pullout PHOTO: BCCI

Pakistan former cricketer Ramiz Raja has lashed out at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the 10 cricketers who pulled out of the Pakistan tour for the upcoming limited-overs series.

While speaking in a Youtube video, Raja described Sri Lanka players’ decision with the phrase ‘Pot calling the kettle black’.

“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 added.

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The former cricketer also questioned the method with which the SLC handled the entire situation.

“The communication gap between Sri Lanka Cricket and their players was pretty evident,” he 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.”

Pakistan commentator believes that Sri Lanka should have reciprocated Pakistan’s gesture of helping them at various occasions.

 “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.”

The 57-year-old also criticized the Sri Lanka players for trying to evade the tour in order to play franchise cricket.

“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 said.

Raja also urged the Pakistan fans to turn up for the series and come to watch their team play in the stadium.