The Sri Lankan cricket board on Monday announced the selection of a T20 and One Day International (ODI) squad to tour Pakistan as 10 players excused themselves from playing in the country citing security reasons.
The Sri Lankan side is set to visit Pakistan to play three ODIs and three T20I matches from September 27 to October 19. Sri Lankan sports minister Harin Fernando will finalise the selection for the two squads.
"Sri Lanka Cricket today held a meeting with players, who were chosen as part of a preliminary squad to select the team, which will be touring Pakistan," a statement by Sri Lankan cricket authorities read.
The statement added that the meeting was aimed at informing the players about the security arrangements during the forthcoming tour and also to find out their "decision" (whether they wish to take part or not) before selectors sit for the selection of squads for the ODI and T20I series.
Roshan Goonetileke, the chief security advisor of the SLC, briefed the players about the security situation in the host country and the security arrangements the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) plans on implementing during Sri Lanka team’s tour.
The following players chose to stay away from the upcoming series:
- Niroshan Dickwella
- Kusal Janith Perera
- Dhananjaya De Silva
- Thisara Perera
- Akila Dhananjaya
- Lasith Malinga
- Angelo Mathews
- Suranga Lakmal
- Dinesh Chandimal
- Dimuth Karunaratne
Furthermore, Kusal Mendis is already not available for selection due to an injury he suffered during the New Zealand Series.
In response to the development, the PCB in a statement said that the participation or non-participation of senior players does not matter as the Sri Lankan team is nevertheless arriving for a complete tour.
"The selection of the team is an internal matter," the PCB said, adding that the board was striving hard to ensure a successful series.
Sri Lanka will return to Pakistan after a nearly two-year absence for short-form cricket games. In October 2017, Sri Lanka played a Twenty20 International in Lahore for the first time since a terror attack near the same venue in March 2009.
That attack left eight people dead and seven Sri Lanka players and staff injured.