Following a meeting organized by Sri Lanka Cricket with players of the national team on Monday, ten players have decided to opt out of the team’s tour of Pakistan which is supposed to see three ODIs and three T20Is played from September 27 to October 9, 2019.
Among the players opting out are the likes of Lasith Malinga, Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews, who were all given the freedom to choose whether they wanted to be a part of the squad touring Pakistan or not.
“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 to play 03 ODIs and 03 T20i matches, starting from 27th September to 09th October, 2019,” an official Sri Lanka Cricket 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 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 Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne.”
The statement also mentioned that Kusal Mendis is not available for selection due to an injury sustained during the recently concluded New Zealand series.
“Following the meeting with the players, the National Selectors, selected a T20i and ODI squad to tour Pakistan, and the respective squads will be sent to the approval of the Minister of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports Honorable Harin Fernando in due course.”
The development means that Sri Lanka would have to field a team that will largely see new faces in the national set-up.