Sri Lanka’s players have indicated strong reluctance to travel to Lahore for the third T20I against Pakistan, by signing a letter that requests match be moved to a neutral venue. SLC officials, however, are likely to attempt to convince the players to tour. The board will discuss the issue further at its executive committee meeting on Monday.
Though the players have not definitively ruled out traveling to Lahore, the mood in the dressing room is one of firm objection. “I don’t think the players will change their stance,” said one cricketer who was among the 40 contracted players who signed the letter. Not only were Suranga Lakmal and Chamara Kapugedara physically present on the bus that was attacked in 2009, the other players are aware of the trauma suffered by those on board. The current players also believe the 2009 team suffered a singular attack in the world of sport, and are unwilling to be among the first teams to return to Pakistan.
SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said player security remained the board’s primary concern, and that “a decision will be made at the ex-co meeting taking into account all the security information”. But other officials, such as president Thilanga Sumathipala, appear very keen on the team traveling to Pakistan. The board is expected to make an appeal to the players over the next few days, with the country’s sports ministry also keen to send a team.
MediaBites Editorial – Hamid Raza (ESPN: Cricinfo)
Pakistan First Media And Brand Website.
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