Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi placed the blame on the Indian Premier League franchises for pressuring the Sri Lankan cricketers after they boycotted their tour of Pakistan. Shahid Afridi alleged that he spoke to few Sri Lankan cricketers, who said to him that they dont want to travel to Pakistan neither they want to play in the PSL because of the pressure from IPL franchises.
The Sri Lanka cricketers who boycotted the tour includes Lasith Malinga, Dimuth Karunaraten, Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal and Dinesh Chandimal.
“Sri Lankan players are under pressure from IPL franchises. I spoke to SL players last time when there was talk of them coming to Pakistan & playing in PSL. They said they wanted to come, but IPL guys say if you go to Pakistan we won’t give you a contract,” Afridi was quoted as saying by a senior Pakistani journalist.
Shahid Afridi’s statement came after only Lasith Malinga out of the 10 Sri Lankan cricketers who opted out of the Pakistan tour has a contract with the IPL. Lasith Malinga is a member of the Mumbai Indian squad.
“Pakistan’s always supported SL, it never happened that we had a tour of SL & our players rested. SL’s board should put pressure on their contracted players to go to Pakistan. SL players who’ll come will always be remembered in Pakistan’s history,” Afridi added.
After Shahid Afridi’s statemant surfaced, The Sri Lanka cricket body affirmed that their team will be tarvelling to Pakistan after their government vowed to provide the same level of security as is given to the visiting heads of nations.
Sri Lanka will play three ODIs and three T20 games in Pakistan, starting from 27th September.
“(The) tour of Pakistan will go ahead as planned, following assurances given by the government of Pakistan that it will provide maximum security arrangements for the team during their entire duration of stay in Pakistan,” SLC said.
Sri Lanka cricket team have named Lahiru Thirimanne and Dasun Shanaka as ODI and Twenty20 captains for the Pakistan tour.