Sri Lanka’s Minister of Sports Harin Farnando has dismissed claims made by Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry that India compelled the Sri Lankan players to boycott their forthcoming series against Pakistan.
Harin Farnando, stated that 10 cricketers who have chosen not to travel to Pakistan was purely based on the 2009 incident when their bus was attacked by gunmen which left eight people dead and many injured.
"No truth to reports that India influenced Sri Lankan players not to play in Pakistan. Some decided not to play purely based on 2009 incident. Respecting their decision we picked players who were willing to travel. We have a full-strength team & we hope to beat Pakistan in Pakistan," he tweeted on Tuesday night.
After the attack, Sri Lanka never traveled to Pakistan. This tour was supposed to be their first since then.
The Players who have opted out of the tour includes Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dikwella and Suranga Lakmal.
Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, who is Pakistan’s Science and Tech minister, stated India pressurised the Sri Lankan players that is they tour to Pakistan, they would lose their IPL contract.
"Informed sports commentators told me that India threatened SL players that they will be ousted from IPL if they don't refuse Pak visit, this is really cheap tactic, jingoism from sports to space is something we must condemn, really cheap on the part of Indian sports authorities," Chaudhry tweeted on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka will play three ODIs in Karachi, and as many T20Is in Lahore. Before returning in December for the Test series.