10 top Sri Lanka cricketers opt out of Pakistan tour

KRISHAN FRANCIS

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Ten top Sri Lanka cricketers opted out of a tour to Pakistan this month citing security concerns.

Players picked in a preliminary squad were summoned for a discussion before the final squad was picked. They were given a choice about whether or not to go Pakistan, which major teams have generally avoided touring since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus which killed eight people and injured several players.

Roshan Gunathilaka, the Sri Lanka Cricket security adviser and former air force chief, briefed the players on the security situation in Pakistan, and the security arrangements made by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The players who opted out were one-day international captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Twenty20 captain Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Akila Dananjaya, and Thisara Perera.

Kusal Mendis was not considered for selection after he was injured in a collision with teammate Shehan Jayasuriya during a recent T20 match against New Zealand.

New ODI and T20 squads were selected, and were pending approval from the sports minister, SLC said on Monday.

The limited-overs tour begins on Sept. 27.

Over the past three years, Pakistan has successfully hosted Zimbabwe, the West Indies, Sri Lanka, and a World XI for limited-overs matches amid intense security.

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