After Refusing to Play in Lahore, Several Sri Lankan Players Likely to Miss T20 Series against Pakistan
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been in talks with its players before leaving several cricketers behind who raised eyebrows regarding the Twenty20 fixture which has been scheduled for October 29 at iconic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
After fans thronged to the Lahore stadium last month (September), it would be another acid test for Pakistan security grid — to conduct another international fixture, in the space of 40 days.
“At the moment the board is talking to each of the players individually, so the selectors don’t know exactly who is available now,” the chief selector of Sri Lanka Graeme Labrooy was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
According to Labrooy, the players who have shown keen interest – to feature in the Lahore game would be subsequently given preference while hinting the same squad might be introduced in the shortest version of the game.
“The understanding is that we choose the same squad for the series, in fairness to the players who have put their hands up for the Lahore match,” Labrooy maintained.
The fifth and final ODI is slated for October 23 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah.
Pertinently, the fixture in Pakistan will further culminate the limited-overs series which kick-started with three five-match One-day international series on September 28 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Interestingly, on October 16, the Lions Board revealed the T20 matches would be played in Lahore after taking stock of the situation in the recent past.
“But we should know that by Friday. Two SLC executive committee members have been contacting the players,” Labrooy remarked.
However, in September, ICC-led World XI-led by South African skipper has had hailed the security apparatus in Pakistan when the side featured in three-match T20 series against Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan.
The newly-appointed committee of Sri Lankan administration is bound not to consider the players for the full series, who have already refused to play in Lahore.
Lankan skipper Upul Tharanga has already made himself unavailable for the Lahore match due to the security reasons.
Reportedly, a board is aiming to name the players willing to travel Pakistan after feature in the first two 20-over fixtures in Abu Dhabi.
Moreover, the decision was further detailed by the board itself including the sports administration under the tutelage of Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara after evaluating the report made accessible by the world cricket body International Cricket Council (ICC) which saw the successful conclusion of Independence Cup 2017.
It will be the first time when Sri Lankan team will visit Pakistan except for all-rounder Thisara Perera when visitors’ team bus was attacked at Liberty Chowk in Lahore in 2009 under the interim coach Nic Pothas.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor