Shoaib Akhtar Disappointed With Sri Lanka Players’ Tour Boycott, Reminds Pakistan’s “Huge Support”

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    Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar expressed disappointment with some Sri Lanka players’ decision to boycott the Pakistan tour, adding that his national team has “always been a huge support for SL cricket”. Sri Lanka’s top players, including T20I skipper Lasith Malinga, former captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella opted out of the tour starting on September 27, following a security briefing with the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board.

    “So disappointed with the 10 Sri Lankan players who have pulled out of Pakistan tour. Pakistan has always been a huge support for SL cricket. Recently after (the) deadly Easter Attacks in SL, our under-19 team was sent on tour there, being the first international team to volunteer,” Akhtar tweeted.

    “And of course who can forget the 1996 World Cup when Australia & West Indies refused to tour Sri Lanka. Pakistan sent a combined team with India to play a friendly match in Colombo. We expect reciprocation from Sri Lanka. Their board is cooperating, players should also,” he added.

    After this, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have announced Lahiru Thirimanne as the skipper of the Sri Lanka’s ODI squad while Dasun Shanaka will lead the team in the T20I games during the tour.

    International cricket was put on hold in Pakistan after a touring Sri Lankan team in March 2009 was attacked by gunmen on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on the third morning of the second of the two Tests series.

    (With IANS inputs)

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