Lasith Malinga, Dimuth Karunaratne among 10 Sri Lankan players to pull out of Pakistan tour over security fears

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T20 skipper Lasith Malinga, ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne and former skipper Angelo Mathews are among the ten players who have opted out of the upcoming Pakistan tour, citing security fears.

On Monday, the Sri Lanka Cricket board in their statement said that players in a preliminary squad were briefed on security arrangements for the six-match limited over series, and given the freedom to decide if they wanted to travel.

Following the briefing, ten Sri Lankan players “chose to stay away” from the series of three ODIs and three T20Is, scheduled to be played from September 27 to October 9.

Apart from Malinga, Karunaratne, and Mathews, the other seven who opted out are Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal, and Dimuth Karunaratne.

This could be seen as a blow to Pakistan’s efforts to bring back full-fledged international cricket to their country. After a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore on March 3, 2009.

Pakistan did not host international matches for six years following the attack, with the team playing their home games in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but have hosted teams such as Zimbabwe and West Indies in recent years.

After the limited over series, Sri Lanka will play two Test matches against Pakistan, but the dates and the venue are yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Harin Fernando has also rejected playing the longer versions of the game in Pakistan and suggested the Tests be played in the UAE.

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