Security fears prompt 10 Sri Lanka players to opt out of Pakistan tour

By Sports Desk September 09, 2019

Ten Sri Lanka players have decided to withdraw from the forthcoming tour of Pakistan amid security concerns.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) held a meeting with the squad on Monday at which the chief security advisor outlined the risks, with all players afforded the freedom to choose if they would travel. 

It was following that meeting that a number of players, including the likes of Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga and Dimuth Karunaratne, opted against featuring in the three ODIs and three Twenty20s scheduled across September and October.

The Sri Lanka team bus came under attack from gunmen in Lahore while touring Pakistan in 2009.

Confirming the news of the withdrawals, and SLC statement read: "Former Sri Lanka Air Force Commander, Marshal Air Roshan Goonetileke, who is the Chief Security Advisor of the SLC, briefed the players about the security situation in Pakistan and the security arrangements PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] plans on implementing during Sri Lanka team’s tour of that country, whilst Chairman of the National Selection Panel Mr Asantha De Mel, explained about the selection policy for future tours.

"He said players will be given the freedom to decide on either taking part or not in the forthcoming Pakistan tour.

"Accordingly, the following players chose to stay away from the upcoming Pakistan series – Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne."

Kusal Mendis has also been ruled out by an injury suffered in the series with New Zealand.

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    Zimbabwe lost Kevin Kasuza to another concussion while a brilliant performance from Sikandar Raza put them in control of the second Test against Sri Lanka on a dramatic third day in Harare.

    When rain halted play, Zimbabwe were on 62-1 for their second innings, with a lead of 175 runs.

    All-rounder Raza had earlier taken 7-113, the second-best figures recorded by a Zimbabwe player in Test cricket as Sri Lanka were all out for 293.

    Paul Strang's record of 8-109, achieved against New Zealand in 2000, is the country's only superior bowling performance.

    But enjoyment of Zimbabwe's progress was tempered by concern over Kasuza, who was taken off the field on a stretcher and rushed to hospital after being hit flush on the helmet by a Kusal Mendis shot at short leg early in the day.

    He was diagnosed with a mild concussion and replaced by Timycen Maruma.

    Kasuza is in a stable condition but will continue to be monitored, having also suffered a delayed concussion while fielding at the same position against the same batsman in the first Test, which was his debut.

    With Sri Lanka beginning Wednesday on 122-2, Mendis, who had twice been dropped off the bowling of Raza on day two, finally fell to the same bowler for 22.

    Kasuza sustained his injury when the pull shot from Mendis struck him, with Carl Mumba gathering the rebound.

    Dinesh Chandimal hit Raza for six but they were the only runs he scored before being caught and bowled by the spinner two balls later.

    Angelo Mathews (64) played an anchoring role to free up Dhananjaya de Silva (42) as the pair went about rebuilding Sri Lanka's innings.

    De Silva had five fours and a six but ended up on his rear end as he was bowled by the rampant Raza in the last over before lunch with a delivery that stayed low.

    Raza brought up his five-for by trapping Niroshan Dickwella (1), with a 38 from Vishwa Fernando the only contribution of note from the tail after Mathews had been caught down the legside.

    Craig Ervine (13) stepped into open in the absence of Kasuza and he was the only man to fall before the close, with Prince Masvaure (26 not out) and Regis Chakabva (14no) well placed to press home Zimbabwe's advantage.

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