Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar feels disappointed after ten Sri Lankan cricketers have withdrawn their names from the upcoming Pakistan tour.

After some talks, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) finally agreed to play the limited-overs series in Pakistan in this September-October. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) initially wanted to host at least one Test against Sri Lanka in Pakistan.

Pakistan has never hosted a Test match in the home since the terrorist attack incident on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus ahead of the day three game of Lahore Test in March 2009. Apart from some injuries, all the Sri Lankan players and other staff safely returned home quickly. However, it was a horrific experience for every one of them.

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After that, Pakistan didn’t host an international cricket match before 2015. Since then, Pakistan has hosted three ODIs and nine T20Is but they still haven’t hosted a Test match yet.

Coming back to the upcoming limited-overs series in Pakistan, Sri Lanka will play three-match ODI and three-match T20I series from 27th September to 9th October 2019.

Shoaib Akhtar, Sri Lankan cricketers
Sri Lanka national cricket team (Image Credit: Google)

Pakistan has always been a huge support for SL cricket – Shoaib Akhtar

However, ten Sri Lankan cricketers have recently pulled out of Pakistan tour. Lasith Malinga, Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews like big names are in this list. Shoaib Akhtar isn’t happy with this gesture.

Shoaib Akhtar, Sri Lankan cricketers
Shoaib Akhtar (Image Credit: Google)

He recently tweeted, “So disappointed with the 10 Sri Lankan players who have pulled out of Pakistan tour. Pakistan has always been a huge support for SL cricket. Recently after deadly Easter Attacks in SL, our under-19 team was sent on tour there, being the first international team to volunteer.”

After Sri Lanka Easter bombings in April 2019, Pakistan U19 team played five-match youth ODI series against the hosts Sri Lanka U19 in May-June 2019.

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Later, Akhtar further added, “And ofcourse who can forget the 1996 World Cup when Australia & West Indies refused to tour Sri Lanka. Pakistan sent a combined team with India to play a friendly match in Colombo. We expect reciprocation from Sri Lanka. Their board is cooperating, players should also.”

Just a day before the opening game of ICC Cricket World Cup 1996, India-Pakistan combined team (Wills XI) played a one-day game against Sri Lanka at R. Premadasa Stadium (Colombo). However, both Australia and West Indies didn’t travel Sri Lanka during that World Cup.

Coming back to the upcoming series in Pakistan, the SLC has finally announced the 14-member inexperienced ODI and T20I squads.

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