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Sri Lanka Sports Minister issues warning to Pakistan team

The Islanders are set to visit Pakistan, from September 27 to October 9, for limited-overs series

PHOTO: AFP

Sri Lanka Sports Minister Harin Fernando has warned Pakistan team that they should not take the Islanders lightly, ahead of the upcoming limited-overs series.

According to details, Fernando said that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are sending a full strength side and he hopeful that they will beat Pakistan in Pakistan.

“We have a full strength team and we hope to beat Pakistan in Pakistan,” tweeted Fernando.

Fernando also brushed aside Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry’s claim that India threatened Sri Lanka players, over not being able to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL), if they toured Pakistan.

“No truth to reports that India influenced Sri Lankan players not to play in Pakistan,” he said. “Some decided not to play purely based on 2009 incident. Respecting their decision we picked players who were willing to travel.”

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 & we hope to beat Pakistan in Pakistan

— Harin Fernando (@fernandoharin) September 10, 2019

Earlier, ten Sri Lankan players, including T20I skipper Lasith Malinga and ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne, pulled out of an upcoming tour of Pakistan citing security concerns.

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.

READ MORE: Raja slams SLC, players over tour pullout

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