India is not behind the boycott of players to Pakistan: Sri Lanka

NEW DELHI: Sri Lankan Minister Harin Fernando rejected claims made by Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry that India forced the island's players to opt for their next tour against the Men in Green.

Fernando, who is the Sri Lankan sports minister, said 10 players have opted out of the tour purely based on the 2009 incident when their team bus was attacked by terrorists who left eight people dead and several other injuries.

There is no truth in the reports that India influenced Sri Lankan players not to play in Pakistan. Some decided not to play based solely on the 2009 incident. Respecting their decision, we chose players who were willing to travel. We have a complete team and we hope to beat Pakistan in Pakistan, he tweeted Tuesday night.

Sri Lanka never toured Pakistan after the attack. This was going to be the first since then.

The best players in Sri Lanka, including captain T20I Lasith Malinga and former captains Angelo Mathews also Dinesh Chandimal , Suranga Lakmal , Dimuth Karunaratne , Thisara Perera Akila Dhananjaya Dhananjaya de Silva , Kusal Perera & Niroshan Dickwella , chose to leave the tour from September 27 to Pakistan, after a security briefing with the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board.

After this, Chaudhry, who is Pakistan's science & technology minister, said India threatened the players from Sri Lanka that if they travel to Pakistan, they would lose their IPL contracts.

Informed sports commentators told me that India threatened SL players that they would be expelled from IPL if they did not reject Pak's visit, this is a really cheap tactic, the jingoism of space sports is something we should condemn, really Cheap by Indian sports authorities, Chaudhry tweeted on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka are slated to play three ODIs in Karachi on September 27, 29 & October 3, & as many T20Is in Lahore on October 5, 7 & 9 during the tour, before returning in December for the Test series that will be a part of the World Test Championship.