Sri Lanka will be missing considerable firepower on their upcoming limited-overs tour of Pakistan, starting September 27, after as many as ten star players opted out following a security briefing with the Sri Lanka Cricket board.
He said that "informed sports commentators" had informed him the Sri Lankan players were confronted by Indian authorities and were told they would be excluded from the IPL if they went to play in Pakistan.
This is not Sri Lanka's first trip to Pakistan since the Lahore attack on the Sri Lanka team.
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.
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. Sri Lankan sports minister Harin Fernando will finalise the selection for the two squads.
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Sri Lanka is set to visit Pakistan after almost two years to play three ODIs and three T20I matches from September 27 to October 19.
The PCB said: "We understand and respect the prerogative of SLC to select the best available players for the upcoming tour". In fact, a former Sri Lankan Air Force Commander had conveyed his confidence in those arrangements to the players.
Pakistani minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Tuesday accused India of coercing members of the Sri Lankan cricket team into dropping out of the Pakistan tour, stirring up another controversy on Twitter. If the series does not take place in Pakistan, it could be shifted in UAE - the venue for the two-match Test series.
But although SLC had at one stage said it had received "very positive" feedback from the security team it had sent to assess the situation in Pakistan, their players have ultimately made their own decisions. In October 2017, Sri Lanka played a Twenty20 worldwide in Lahore for the first time since a terror attack near the same venue in March 2009.
The limited-overs series, which features three ODIs and three T20Is, is set to run from September 27 to October 9.